Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Daughter very happy 100 year old Colombo mobster was released from prison


It was family reunion 100 years in the making — and worth the wait.

The daughter of century-old ex-Colombo family underboss John "Sonny" Franzese was thrilled Saturday as her oft-jailed dad enjoyed his first full day of freedom in eight years.

“I’m very delighted that he’s home,” said Loraine Scorsone after the venerable gangster — sprung from prison Friday — spent the night with family at her Brooklyn home.

Her brother Michael, who accompanied their dad on the ride down from the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Mass., agreed the family patriarch’s presence was a welcome addition.

“Dad enjoyed a nice, quiet and well-earned night at home,” Michael said Saturday via email. “The day was a bit overwhelming for him, I’m sure.

John "Sonny" Franzese arrives at a relative's home in Brooklyn after his Friday release from federal prison.

“He has four remaining children, several grandchildren and a bunch of great-grandkids who want to know him, love him and give him some happiness in his remaining years. He deserves it.”

All told, Sonny Franzese spent more than four decades of his life behind bars.

He arrived at the two-family Greenpoint home on Friday night and went inside without saying a word. He was greeted with hugs after his latest prison stint, and there was no sign of him Saturday.

Franzese, a native of Naples, Italy, was the oldest inmate in the federal system following what he hopes was his final arrest. The made man, already in his 90s, was convicted of shaking down a pair of Manhattan strip clubs.

Missing from the long-awaited get-together was Sonny’s namesake son John Jr., who became an informant and testified against his dad in 2010.

“He took the stand, swore to tell the truth and then lied through his teeth to save his own skin,” said Michael, who followed his father into the Colombos before walking away from organized crime.

Michael Franzese — once ranked by Forbes magazine as No. 18 on its list of the 50 most powerful American Mafiosi — became a born-again Christian, father of seven and motivational speaker.

The frail Sonny, who used a walker to get inside from a white Range Rover, flashed a smile Friday evening as he headed inside.

Franzese was first arrested in 1938.

Franzese, who turned 100 on Feb. 6, wore a gray sweatshirt with matching sweatpants.

He was a contemporary of the crime family’s namesake Joe Colombo, and reportedly rubbed elbows with Frank Sinatra at the old Copacabana nightclub.

Franzese joined the Colombos in the 1930s, taking his first arrest in 1938 for assault. He was jailed a half-dozen times over the years on parole violations.

But mob lore has long held that Sonny was convicted in 1967 for a bank robbery that he did not commit. Michael, in his email, insisted that was true.

“My father was framed 50 years ago,” he said. “He was no bank robber, and I’ll take that to my grave. My father and I have had our disagreements. Obviously, I walked away from a life that he continued to honor.

“But we love one another to this day.”



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