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It called the luncheon a meeting of "the board of directors" of two organized-crime families and used it as the basis for racketeering charges against several of the participants. "It was just a bunch of geriatric gangsters waxing nostalgically about things that happened long ago," said Christopher Warren, Licata's lawyer.
Members of the American Mafia may be living longer, but the ancient code of conduct that once defined what it meant to be a man of honor is dying fast. from Sicily and was a mob soldier in the early 1900s; as a child, the younger Di Leonardo met legendary boss Carlo Gambino at his grandfather's house.
Among Stango's codefendants in the plot: 72-year-old Frank Nigro and 68-year-old Paul Colella.
Then there is John "Sonny" Franzese Sr., 98, perhaps the oldest active mobster in America.
The Witness Security Program offers a safe haven for gangsters who turn informant and take the witness stand. Organized-crime careers are notoriously unpredictable, but gangsters are enjoying the same longevity benefits as the rest of us, and many don't go legit when they qualify for Medicare.
But picking up and starting over again isn't always an appealing idea for lifetime mafiosi, who tend to be set in their ways. They do what they have always done — commit crimes. Recent sentencing hearings for New York mobsters have sounded like medical seminars, with defendants pleading for minimal jail time — or no time at all — because of poor health.
Inside, at the table, a federal informant wore a body wire.
The conversation roamed, which would be expected during a five-hour meal among old friends.He once boasted of taking a role in 60 killings, according to federal authorities.In 2011, he was sentenced to eight years in federal prison following a conviction for extorting strip clubs in Manhattan. He'd be 100, but who's to say that will slow him down?A man never begged for mercy, admitted to weakness or pleaded guilty to any crime."Today it's a me generation," says Di Leonardo, who served under celebrity mob boss John Gotti before Di Leonardo turned on the family, becoming a government witness.Photo illustration by Justin Metz The feds are cracking down. Ten wiseguys sat at an Italian restaurant in New Jersey, laughing and joking and talking. The men, from New York, Philadelphia and Newark, dressed the part — open-collared shirts, pinkie rings and Rolexes.