Saturday, July 1, 2023

Michael 'Yuppie Don' Franzese

Michael 'Yuppie Don' Franzese is a former New York mobster and caporegime of the Colombo crime family. Son of Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, Michael Franzese rose quickly in the Colombo family. By the 1980s, he was a capo. Franzese's rise was fueled by his lucrative gasoline rackets. Working with the Russian Mafia, Franzese sold millions of gallons of gasoline. The family would collect the state and federal taxes, but kept the money. At the same time, they were selling gas at lower prices than gas stations. In 1985, Franzese was indicted on 14 counts of racketeering, counterfeiting and extortion from the gasoline bootlegging racket. In 1986, Franzese pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to ten years in prison with $14m in restitution.
In 1987, while in prison, Franzese walked away from the Colombo family. Franzese renounced organized crime, become a born again Christian and became a speaker. He has spoken as a 'life skills expert'. Once described as the biggest Mob earner since Al Capone, Michael Franzese has been redeemed as a pew-packing evangelist decrying the evils of his old life, part of the deal is that he now gets to go to heaven and live forever with Jesus. His 'true-life' story has been airing forever.