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January 14, 2011

Infamous 93-year-old crime boss gets eight-year federal sentencing

As detailed in this New York Daily News piece, "Colombo underboss John (Sonny) Franzese could be out prison for his 100th birthday -- with time off for good behavior." Here is why:

The 93-year-old gangster was sentenced Friday to eight years for shaking down the Hustler and Penthouse strip joints and a Long Island pizzeria.

Federal Judge Brian Cogan said he was troubled by handing the mobster what could amount to a life sentence, but assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina Posa said that's exactly what the murderous mobster deserves.

"He has never held an honest job for a day in his life," Posa told the judge. "He's essentially lived as a parasite off the hard work of others by shaking them down." The prosecutor said it was disturbing that Franzese is constantly referred to as a "legend" in films and newspaper articles.

"He is largely responsible for the glamorization of the Mafia over the past century. For him to die now as a criminal in jail is not an inappropriate response to the lifestyle he lived."...

Although he was never convicted of murder, Franzese told an informant he had participated in at least 60 gangland killings. The informant taped Franzese instructing him on how to get rid of corpses: dismember the victim in a kiddie pool, then cook the bones in a microwave oven.

Three years ago when Franzese found out his son, John Jr., was an FBI informant, he thought about whacking his own flesh and blood, FBI agent Vincent D'Agostino said yesterday. "He told \[the informant\] that there would come a time to call his son and \[Franzese\] gestured with his forefinger and thumb…indicating that they would kill him," D'Agostino said.

The son wasn't killed and went on to testify against Franzese last year, helping to convict him of racketeering and extortion charges.

Defense lawyer Richard Lind said his client's hearing aid wasn't working so it wasn't clear how much he took in. When it was his turn to speak, Franzese grumbled: "What am I gonna say? I didn't get a fair...I never got a ruling in my favor." Lind quickly covered the microphone mouthpiece with his hand and told the judge that Franzese had nothing to say....

Franzese, who looks 20 years younger than his age, is confined to a wheelchair and had several illnesses. He could have gotten up to 15 years in prison.

January 14, 2011 at 02:42 PM | Permalink


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123D, 80 years ago. Only the vile, criminal lover lawyer kept his alive to devastate his neighborhoods.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 14, 2011 11:36:35 PM


In the mob cases it was a lot more than just the lawyers, the cops, the city counsel, the judges and prosecutors, as well as the very people they victimized (and probably other groups I've missed) all conspired to turn a blind eye.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jan 15, 2011 10:58:02 AM

You may be saying, the mob provided services in which people believed, drugs, prostitution, small loans, gambling. If people believe in those, they should be legal, regulated, and taxed. He also ran a 123D service, sparing the state the cost and trouble of dispatching 60 criminals. And that service, the good riddance service, should also be legal.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 15, 2011 11:30:02 AM

bull crap SC i don't see ANYTHING in this to indicate ANY LEGAL CRIMINAL CONVICTION! there fore the clock you like to harp about has NEVER been started!

as for this!

"Three years ago when Franzese found out his son, John Jr., was an FBI informant, he thought about whacking his own flesh and blood,"

GOOD! he should have as the fbi said....WACKED the kid and the FBI agents who were low enough to do god knows what to get his own children to turn against him..... like good little NAZI CHILDREN! i'm sure himmler would have been proud!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 16, 2011 1:10:40 AM

Hello, I am Brian, paralegal student. This is really a scandalous phase for the Jonn’s family to confront the situation. And it would be much harder for his son to make the way and help FBI to arrest his own blood related father. I appreciate the brave hearted person. However the judgment is absolutely in right tune. The mobster should be punishable for his doings. And this is merciless.

Posted by: George Allen | Jan 27, 2011 8:54:58 AM

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