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

Friday, May 7, 2010

'I gotta die someplace': 93-year-old mobster John (Sonny) Franzese unfazed by possible prison time

If he's convicted of racketeering, 93-year-old wiseguy John (Sonny) Franzese could spent the rest of his life in prison - but, hey, he's not worried.
"Who cares? I gotta die someplace," Franzese said Thursday after being arraigned on new charges of shaking down the Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs.
"I die outside, I die in jail - it don't matter to me."
The reputed Colombo underboss was a bit miffed, though, that Federal Judge Brian Cogan refused to adjourn his racketeering trial in light of the new extortion rap.
"They give the terrorists more breaks than us," he groused.
He walks with a wooden cane and is hard of hearing, but Franzese is powerfully built and looks 20 years younger than he is.
Asked about his longevity, Franzese said he doesn't smoke and eats "a lot of greens."
Prosecutors say he was pocketing a lot of green, too, through shakedowns of the jiggle joints, a pizzeria on Long Island and loansharking.
The government has lined up at least two cooperating witnesses to testify against Franzese - including his own son John Jr.
"What do I know about him? I don't even know where he is," Franzese said.
Portly co-defendant Joseph DiGorga, 69, could learn a thing or two from Franzese's health regimen. His bid to loosen house arrest restrictions so he can walk around the block was shot down by the judge who advised him to buy a treadmill.


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