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

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sonny Franzese 93, convicted of shaking down Hustler and Penthouse strip joints

A federal jury in Brooklyn convicted 93-year-old Colombo underboss John (Sonny) Franzese on Wednesday of racketeering and shaking down Manhattan strip joints.
Franzese, caught demanding payoffs from the Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs, was acquitted of extorting a Long Island pizzeria.
The conviction is still a likely death sentence for the legendary gangster, who now faces up to 20 years in prison.
After the verdict, Federal Judge Brian Cogan revoked Franzese's bail.
He removed his belt and handed a wad of cash, a wallet and business cards to defense lawyer Richard Lind before he was escorted out of the courtroom by U.S. marshals.
Four co-defendants, Joseph DiGorga, John Capolino and Christopher Curanovic were also convicted of various charges, including extortion.
Capolino kissed Franzese on both cheeks before he was taken into custody.
"Z, save a space for me," Capolino said to Franzese.
"This office is committed to prosecuting members and associates of organized crime who prey on business owners and threaten the public safety," said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.


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