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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Franzese Gets Into Heated Fight With Wife Outside Courtroom

He's still a wiseguy after all these years.
Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese got into a heated fight with his wife outside the Brooklyn courtroom where he is currently on trial for racketeering -- and the war-of-words got ugly.
Cristina Capobianco Franzese, who has been separated from the mobster for the past two years, confronted her mobster hubby as he exited the courtroom at the end of today's testimony.
She followed the mobster into the men's bathroom -- and that's when the two started yelling at each other.
"He should plead guilty and give his son a break," she shouted at him.
FBI photo of John
FBI photo

"I never beat you. Your mother beat you," she added.
The fracas came hours after Franzese's son dropped a bombshell during his testimony inside a Brooklyn courtroom after admitting he has HIV -- with the defense arguing that the star witness turned on his aging dad because authorities agreed to help pay for his treatment.
Asked about how he got the deadly infection during cross-examination, former wiseguy John Franzese Jr. said, "I got HIV from using a needle."
That's when Richard Lind, the lawyer for the Colombo underboss, suggested that the gangster's son, 50-year-old John Franzese Jr., decided to rat on his dad only because authorities were paying for his HIV treatments.
Franzese Jr. admitted that the LA County Sheriff's Office were giving him $100 a week for expenses.
He said he moved to California in 2004 to straighten out his life after years as living as a junkie.
"I was walking around for three years untreated," Franzese Jr. said from the witness stand in Brooklyn federal court.
While his son testified, Franzese Sr. fiddled with his hearing aide and got up a few times to use the bathroom. Again, he appeared to nod off at times and had his head down for much of the trial.
This morning's testimony came a day after the 93-year-old mobster sat stoically while his son ratted him out for his life of crime.
Asked to finger his once-feared father in court, Franzese Jr. -- a former wiseguy-turned-FBI informant -- said only, "He's sitting there in the yellow shirt."
Father and son barely exchanged glances, but the elder Franzese pinched the fabric of his shirt, as if to question if he was the guy being called out by his son.
Franzese Jr. made history on Wednesday. No other big-time mobster's son had ever testified against his father.
Franzese Sr. is standing trial on charges of shaking down a pair of strip clubs and a pizzeria on Long Island.
The younger Franzese recalled becoming a Colombo bagman by 18, with all the trappings and riches that came from being connected to a powerful mobster.
But he testified that he eventually descended into drug addiction, and to turn his life around he decided to begin informing for the FBI.
"I wanted to change my life," Franzese Jr. said. "They would provide a means for me to change my life."
As a tape that Franzese Jr. made while wearing an FBI wire was played in court, his father appeared to doze off, prompting his lawyer to nudge him awake.
The tape recording, in which a Franzese cousin was heard predicting that John "Junior" Gotti would end up ratting out his father rather than sit in jail -- was made while the younger Franzese was the real family rat, wearing a wire to help capture his own dad.
The son's testimony horrified his brother, Michael Franzese, a former made member of the Colombo crime family who became a born-again Christian. He said the family is crushed by his brother's betrayal.
"I don't agree with anything he's doing," said Michael. "The family is taking it very hard."


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