By David Amoruso for Gangsters Inc.
A Genovese Mafia family mobster was convicted of racketeering on Tuesday. The jury found 52-year-old Frank Giovinco responsible for acts involving extortion, honest services fraud, and unlawful kickback payments related to the Genovese family’s control of two local chapters of a labor union.
“For years, Frank Giovinco, as a member of the Genovese crime family, instilled fear in victims and propagated kickback schemes to tighten the Family’s stranglehold over two labor unions,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. “Now, a jury has held Giovinco accountable for his crimes.”
As the nephew of Joe “Joey Carpets” Giovinco, an associate in the crew of Genovese family capo Frederico “Fritzie” Giovanelli, Frank had all the right connections. He grew up on Long Island and played football in High School, before putting his physique to work for the mob. As a twenty-some-year-old He was busted for possession of stolen property, but mostly flew under the radar of law enforcement.
In the early 1990s, the Genovese family placed Giovinco in a position to control the waste carting industry in New York City. Within a few years, by the late 1990s, the family made him an official member.
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His work, according to prosecutors, consisted of a wide range of crimes to enrich not only himself, but other members and leaders of the Genovese crime family. These included multiple acts of extortion, honest services fraud, and bribery.
Labor racketeering: Threats & extortion
Giovinco’s focus was on two local chapters of a labor union. He participated in a host of schemes designed to manipulate and siphon money from the unions for the benefit of the Genovese family. Among other things, he extorted a financial adviser and a labor union official for a cut of commissions made from union investments.
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Audio recordings captured Giovinco planning to “rattle the cage” of a victim, and to have another victim’s “feet held to the fire.” When the union official failed to pay the commissions demanded by the Mafia, his life was threatened by Giovinco and other gangsters.
Giovinco further plotted to profit from union investments by paying kickbacks to the union official and others, in exchange for a cut of future commissions. He also participated in the long-running extortion of a union president for annual tribute payments of more than $10,000, and sought a job at the union for the purpose of exerting control over the union official on the Genovese family’s behalf, and threatening to replace him if he didn’t comply.
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The charges of which Giovinco was found guilty carry a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison, but things didn't turn out to be severe. On June 22, 2020, Giovinco was sentenced to 4 years behind bars.
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