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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Feds bust Genovese mobsters for shaking down unions

Like Oddfather, like son.
Vincent Esposito, 50, the child of late Genovese family boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante, was one of five mob associates busted for a long-running shakedown of local unions, according to a new federal indictment.
Court papers accused the mobbed-up quintet with extortion and accepting illegal kickbacks, while using “threats of economic harm and potential physical violence” to keep the illegal cash flowing.
Arrested along with Esposito were Steven Arena, 60; Frank Giovinco, 50; Frank Cognetta, 42, and Vincent D’Acunto Jr., 49.
Esposito, who faces 40 years in prison, entered a Wednesday plea of not guilty in Manhattan Federal Court.
He is one of Gigante’s three children with long-time mistress Olympia Esposito, who shared her pricey Upper East Side townhouse part-time with the mob boss.
Gigante was dubbed the “Oddfather” for his long-running “crazy act,” where he feigned mental illness to avoid prosecution for years. The dodge worked until a 1997 racketeering conviction, and Gigante died behind bars in 2005.
The current conspiracy dated to at least 2001 and ran through October 2017, with Esposito, Arena and D’Acunto squeezing a labor union official for annual cash payments to keep his job.
Threats of physical violence compelled the union big-wig to cough up the yearly tribute, according to the indictment.
Cognetta, an official with Local 1-D of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, was charged with soliciting and accepting bribes and directing union benefit plans in specific investment in return for kickbacks.
Cognetta, charged with racketeering conspiracy, along with honest services fraud and bribery, faces up to 126 years in prison, officials said.
Esposito, Arena and D’Acunto were all charged with racketeering conspiracy and extortion conspiracy, and face up to 40 years in prison.
Giovinco was charged with a single county of racketeering conspiracy and faces 20 years in prison.
Esposito became the second of Chin’s sons to land on the wrong side of the law.
Andrew Gigante followed his father into the crime family, and was sentenced in July 2003 to two years in prison for extortion on the New York/New Jersey waterfront.
He also paid a $2 million fine as part of his plea deal.



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