Say Hello to the Gambino Family's New Acting Boss

Revised, updated: The Gambino crime family is reportedly now under the auspices of  Staten Island-based Frank Cali, 49, who'd been serving on a ruling panel for several years, according to's Jerry Capeci.

Domenico Cefalu stepped down as acting boss, allowing Cali's advance.

Cali, Sicilian-born, is related by marriage to Gambino members as well as members of a Sicilian Cosa Nostra family. Cali's wife's uncle is Gambino capo John Gambino, and his brother Joseph and brother-in-law Peter Inzerillo are both allegedly soldiers in the Gambino crime family.

He rose to capo before 40, less than a decade after he was inducted. Cefalu wanted Cali to grab the reigns earlier.

As for official boss, two names have been said to hold that title, Peter Gotti and Arnold Squitieri. This will be explored in a follow-up.

Cali has only one criminal conviction: a federal extortion charge. He served 16 months in prison. News of his promotion no doubt means the Fed's will be watching him much closer, though he's been on their radar for years.

The Gambinos are believed by law enforcement to have the strongest ties to Sicily's Cosa Nostra (Gambino consiglieri Bartholomew "Bobby Baboots" Vernaci also is Sicilian, and is serving life). New Jersey's DeCavalcante crime family also is controlled by Sicilians and is reportedly under the control of the Gambino's today,

Cali was considered to be the Gambino's "ambassador to Sicilian mobsters" and is linked to the Inzerillo Mafia family, from Palermo, as noted above. 

"Cali is seen as a man of influence and power by organized crime members in Italy," according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Lipton.

Domenico Cefalu.

Salvatore Inzerillo (Palermo, 1944 – Palermo, May 11, 1981) was an Italian drug dealing mafiosi who rose to be a powerful boss of Palermo's Passo di Rigano family. He was murdered in May 1981 by the Corleonesi of Totò Riina, who opposed the established Palermo Mafia families.

The Inzerillo family came close to total annihilation by the Corleonesi. New York-based mobsters, including members of the Gambino crime family, worked out deal under which the surviving Inzerillos could depart for the U.S. The agreement entailed none of them, or their offspring, ever returning to Sicily. 

Many went to the New York area and joined the Gambino family.

"However, after the arrest of Totò Riina and other Corleonesi like Leoluca Bagarella, some Inzerillos returned to Sicily. 

Francesco Inzerillo returned in 1997 -- after he was expelled by officials from the U.S.

Cali's promotion a couple of years ago to underboss marked something of a comeback for the Sicilians in New York's Cosa Nostra.

In May 2010, Cali's uncle, capo John Gambino, headed the crime family’s delegation that met in New Jersey with the Philadelphia crime family.

Unfortunately for them, that meeting was recorded by then-cooperating witness Nicholas "Nicky Skins" Stefanelli and was played during the racketeering trial of Philadelphia's former mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, who is on the street today.

Stefanelli committed suicide as reported; but, the former North Jersey mobster had already done the damage, having recorded dozens of conversations along the East Coast for about two years. He never testified, however, limiting the recording's value.