Monday, May 10, 2010

Ninety-three-year-old mobster indicted again

Ninety-three-year-old John "Sonny" Franzese, currently preparing for trial on racketeering charges, has been indicted again, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

The latest indictment charges the reputed Colombo Crime Family underboss with attempting to extort money from the Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs. According to prosecutors, Franzese personally went to the clubs along with younger henchmen and offered the club owners protection against other criminal organizations.

Franzese has been imprisoned a number of times. His current parole continues until he is 102. While he awaits trial, he is free on $1 million bail.

After his May 6 arraignment on the extortion charges, Franzese was asked how he felt about the prospect of spending his last days behind bars. "Who cares?" he said. "I gotta die someplace."

Commission finds Merlino firm free of mob links

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved a license May 5 for the Bayshore Rebar Inc. firm to work on Atlantic City casino projects, according to a story by the Press of Atlantic City. The company had been banned from casino work for 21 years, due to the belief that the Merlino family, which runs the company, was involved with organized crime. In ending the ban, the commission announced that Bayshore Rebar was free of mob influence.

Joseph N. Merlino, who runs the company, is the cousin of jailed Philadelphia Mafia boss Joseph S. "Skinny Joey" Merlino and the son of the late Lawrence "Yogi" Merlino, a high-ranking mobster. However, Joseph N. Merlino successfully proved that he had severed all contact with relatives linked to organized crime.

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; author of Wrongly Executed?; coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime; contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime; writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.