When Franzese was a member of the Colombo crime family, his operation reportedly skimmed $8-9 million a week from the illegal transportation of untaxed gasoline. In the 1980s, Franzese was probably street boss of the Colombo family for a time, following the incarceration of Carmine “The Snake” Persico and Franzese’s own father, Mob legend John “Sonny” Franzese.
Oh, and speaking of Sonny Franzese, Michael here also discusses his attempts to save the soul of his father, whose favorite method of disposing of corpses reportedly involved a kiddie pool. After years in and out of prison, Sonny was convicted again when, at the age of 92, he was recorded on FBI wiretaps discussing the extortion of profits from NYC strip clubs. In that case, which finally put Sonny away for good, wanna know who wore the wire? Michael’s brother John Franzese. All in the family, indeed.
The FBI reports that despite his incarceration, the elder Franzese remains the Colombo Family’s underboss.
Now outta the Mob — and still never having testified — Michael runs the lecture circuit, talking to professional athletes about the dangers of gambling. He’s also written books with the greatest subtitles ever, including “How the Yuppie Don Left the Mafia and Lived to Tell His Story” and “Business Tips From a Former Mob Boss.”