Frank Lino, 76, had served more than eight years in prison after his 2003 arrest before he was released on $1 million bail.
Looking tanned, and wearing black-framed eyeglasses and a double-breasted suit, Lino sheepishly raised his hand when Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis glanced around the courtroom looking for him.
“Oh, in the business suit,” Garaufis observed.
Lino’s cooperation was “extraordinary” and helped to bring down some two dozen Bonannos including then-boss Joseph Massino.
He also helped the feds recover the corpses of three slain gangsters buried in mob graveyards, according to prosecutor Nicole Argentieri.
His most famous hit was the 1981 rubout of Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano who was marked for death as punishment for befriending undercover FBI agent Donnie Brasco "Joseph Pistone" who had infiltrated the crime family.
After Lino flipped, there was an extraordinary scene right out of the film “Godfather: Part II” when fictional mob canary Frank Pentangeli’s brother was brought by the Corleone family from Sicily to sit in the audience at a Senate hearing.
During a 2003 hearing, Lino’s brother appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court, stood up in the front row and asked Garaufis if he could speak to Frank.
During Friday’s hearing, defense lawyer Barry Rhodes reminded the judge of the cinematic moment in his courtroom, adding that Lino has “spurned that sick world he was once part of.”
“He has found God and with God’s good grace he’s where he should be, a grandfather of 15,” Rhodes said.
Lino apologized to families of the victims — none of whom were present — and shook the judge’s hand on the way out of the courtroom.