New York Mobster Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

Published: 26 June 2020

The Genovese Family, has been the Largest of New York's Mafia groups since it was founded in the 1930s (Source: Wikimedia Commons)The Genovese Family, has been the Largest of New York's Mafia groups since it was founded in the 1930s (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

By David Klein

A member of New York’s Genovese crime family was sentenced to four years in prison for extortion and racketeering conspiracies according to a statement from the US Department of Justice. 

Frank Giovinco, 52, was convicted back in December after he was arrested along with several other members of the Genovese family. According to the DOJ, Giovinco’s role was to exert the mafia’s control over two unions representing the wine and liquor industry in New York City according to the National Legal and Policy Center

“For years, Frank Giovinco, as a member of the Genovese Crime Family, instilled fear in victims and perpetrated kickback schemes to tighten the Family’s stranglehold over two labor unions.  For committing these crimes, Giovinco will now spend four years in prison,” said acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.

The Genovese family is one of the "Five Families" that dominate criminal activities in New York and New Jersey as part of the Italian-American mafia or La Cosa Nostra (Sicilian for ‘This thing of ours.’) 

The family was established in the 1930’s by Charles “Lucky” Luciano, the godfather of the American mob who rose to prominence during the prohibition era and established ‘The Commission,’ the loose ruling body which delineated territory and created the current hierarchy of the Italian-American Mob. 

In the 1950’s the family was renamed as Genovese, after Vito Genovese who took over the control of the family when Luciano was deported to Italy following WWII. Since then members of the group have been implicated in crimes ranging from running illegal gambling rackets to mortgage fraud. 

Giovinco first came onto the scene in the 1990’s when the family inserted him into a scheme to control the waste carting industry in New York City, said the DOJ. 

He rose through the ranks as an enforcer, working mainly with Brooklyn labor unions. 

In more recent years, Giovinco conspired with other members and associates of the family to commit a wide range of crimes, including multiple acts of extortion, honest services fraud, and bribery, the DOJ statement said. 

He manipulated and siphoned money from the two unions for the benefit of the crime family.

In that role, Giovinco was not shy about threatening violence. 

“Among other things, Giovinco extorted a financial adviser and a labor union official for a cut of commissions made from union investments. Audio recordings captured Giovinco planning to ‘rattle the cage’ of a victim, and to have another victim’s ‘feet held to the fire,” according to the DOJ.