Framnk Giovinco was convicted yesterday of conspiring to commit extortion and racketeering offenses with members and associates of the Genovese Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra following a six-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. The jury found the defendant responsible for acts involving extortion, honest services fraud, and unlawful kickback payments related to the Genovese Crime Family’s control of two local chapters of a labor union.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “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. Now, a jury has held Giovinco accountable for his crimes.”
According to the Indictment, documents previously filed in the case, and evidence introduced at trial:
La Cosa Nostra, also known as the “Mob” or the “Mafia,” operates through entities known as “Families.” The largest of the families operating in the New York City area is the Genovese Crime Family. In the early 1990s, Giovinco was inserted by the Genovese Crime Family into a scheme to control the waste carting industry in New York City, and as far back as the late-1990s, Giovinco was a member of the Genovese Crime Family.
In more recent years, and continuing until 2017, Giovinco conspired with other members and associates of the Genovese Crime Family to commit a wide range of crimes to enrich themselves and the Genovese Crime Family, including multiple acts of extortion, honest services fraud, and bribery. Giovinco’s activity for the Genovese Crime Family was centered on two local chapters (the “Unions”) of a labor union. Giovinco participated in a host of schemes designed to manipulate and siphon money from the Unions for the benefit of the Genovese Crime Family. Among other things, Giovinco extorted a financial adviser (the “Adviser”) and a labor union official (“Official-1”) 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.” When Official-1 failed to pay the commissions demanded by Giovinco and other members of the Genovese Crime Family, Official-1’s life was threatened by Giovinco and his co-conspirators. Giovinco further plotted to profit from union investments by paying kickbacks to Official-1 and others, in exchange for a cut of future commissions. Giovinco also participated in the long-running extortion of a union president (“Official-2”) for annual tribute payments of more than $10,000, and sought a job at the union for the purpose of exerting control over Official-1 on the Genovese Crime Family’s behalf, and threatening to replace Official-1.
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Giovinco, 52, of Syosset, New York, was convicted of one count of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, which also carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. Sentencing before Judge Rakoff is scheduled for March 11, 2020.