The son of late New York Mafia boss Vincent “Chin” Gigante pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday. 51-year-old Vincent Esposito (photo above, left) admitted conspiring with other Genovese crime family mobsters in extorting union officials.
Esposito is the only son of longtime Genovese crime family leader Vincent Gigante and his mistress Olympia Esposito. The Mafia boss raised two separate families: One with his wife, the other with his mistress. Thanks to the groundwork laid by his deceased father, Esposito was able to use the mob family and its muscle to lean on various union officials.
$3.8 million in cash hidden at home
In one case, he directed the long-running extortion of a union official for annual tribute payments of over $10,000, and had a number of lower-ranking associates collect money and convey threats to the man on his behalf. In another extortion scheme, Esposito’s guys extorted a different union official and a financial adviser for a cut of commissions made from union investments.
Authorities busted the scheme in 2017. At the time of Esposito’s arrest, the FBI executed a search warrant on his home and seized more than $3.8 million in U.S. currency hidden throughout the residence, along with an unregistered handgun, ammunition, brass knuckles, and lists of made members of the Genovese crime family. As part of today’s guilty plea, Esposito agreed to forfeit the more than $3.8 million seized by the FBI as criminal proceeds resulting from the offense.
The other Gigante son
Gigante’s other son, Andrew, also ran afoul with the law. In 2002, he was arrested along with his father and several other Genovese mobsters and charged with running extortion rackets on the New York, New Jersey and Miami waterfronts. Andrew pleaded guilty in 2003, agreed to forfeit $2 million, and was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
“The shakedown of union officials, racketeering and extortion may sound like throwback behavior of mobsters who operated decades ago,” FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said. “However, the bread and butter of the mafia is to make money, so the illegal enterprises they’ve always engaged in are being used even in the modern era. The FBI New York Organized Crime Task Force will investigate whatever illicit activity the mob chooses to pursue, in order to stop their criminal behavior.”
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman added, “As he admitted today, for more than a decade Vincent Esposito made millions with members of the Genovese Crime Family by extorting payments, demanding kickbacks, committing fraud, and instilling fear. Thanks to an extensive investigation by our law enforcement partners, Esposito has been unmasked as a criminal and put out of business.”
Esposito’s guilty plea carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He is scheduled for sentencing on July 10.
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