Thursday, July 8, 2010

93 Year Old Mob Boss, Convicted and "Faces Decades" In the Slammer

The New York Post's is reporting on the racketeering conviction of John "Sonny" Franzese.  The reporter claims that the 93 year old Brooklyn native is facing "decades" behind bars.  Here's the NYP story:
"A Brooklyn federal jury convicted a 93-year-old reputed underboss of the Columbo family on racketeering charges this morning. John 'Sonny' Franzese – once of the most feared mobsters in Long Island – was convicted with the help of testimony by his cocaine-addicted son on charges of shaking down two Manhattan strips clubs and helping run a loan-sharking operation, but was cleared of extorting a suburban pizzeria. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Jurors apparently didn’t believe defense claims that Franzese was a doddering old man living off Social Security. John "Sonny" Franseze, left, and his son John Franseze in 2005.His son, Franzese Jr., 50, testified that his father remained active in the mob life throughout his 80s and 90s.

The nonagenarian mobster — famous for hobnobbing with Frank Sinatra and being the moneyman behind the porn classic "Deep Throat" — was extorted the Hustler and Penthouse clubs for protection money. He now faces decades in the federal slammer.
Somehow I think, not.

Interesting story,--lots of "cultural history," drugs, trust, patricide, all the grand tragic themes a la, the Godfather, Wiseguys, and Goodfellas.  A number of years ago I heard Tina Sinatra deal with the question of her father's mob ties.  She said that of course Frank Sinatra had mob ties, the mob owned the saloons and other venues that he, Tommy Dorsey, and the other Big Band entertainers were able to obtain employment at as they built their careers.  She said Sinatra found it offensive that people outside of entertainment expected him to be disloyal to the friends who gave him his start. 

It was an interesting perspective.  There is no defending the indefensible but being in a position I would never have imagined, I am beginning to appreciate Tina Sinatra's point of view.  I think AA helped me with this idea a long time ago.

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