Longtime Genovese Family Power Who Took Lie Detector Test Dies

Former Genovese underboss Michele “Mickey Dimino” Generoso died this week, on November 24, of natural causes, sources told Cosa Nostra News.

Former Genovese underboss Michele “Mickey Dimino” Generoso died this week of natural causes.
Barney Bellomo, left, and Mickey "Dimino"

His funeral took place at Brooklyn's Peter C. Labella funeral home and he was buried on Staten Island's Resurrection Cemetery.

Age 97, Generoso was inducted when Charlie "Lucky" Luciano was a New York mob boss. In 1997, when he was indicted in a major murder and racketeering case. The first major criminal prosecution he ever faced. He'd been active on the street until about two years ago, despite reports to the contrary, said our source.

Our source, a Queens-based former mobster, also provided an update on the Commission, which was erroneously declared defunct by newspaper reports beginning in the late 1990s. As per our source, the Commission was only effectively abolished in recent years. Still, the crime families "have their way of doing things," the source said.

Three of the New York families (the Genovese, Gambino and Lucheses) are up and running; the Bonannos and Colombos are in disrepair.

Making Genoveses the Powerhouse Family
"Mickey Dimino" played a key role in building the Genovese family into the powerhouse it's been for decades, or perhaps since the beginning. At one point the Jewish racketeers were formally made part of the Genovese family; many were placed under Generoso (as will be detailed in a follow-up story). Generoso was associated with many of the family's key members, including Anthony "Tough Tony" Federici, a powerful captain known today for owning the Corona, New York-based Parkside Restaurant.

In February 2004, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall honored Federici for his community service at an event reportedly attended by a large contingent of police officers from the 110th Precinct in Queens.

This year the FBI investigated Federici for ties to an alleged Ndrangheta cocaine broker, the source said. Gregorio Gigliotti, who's in jail, caused a media sensation when wiretap transcripts were released in which the Calabrian bragged to his wife about eating the heart and kidney of someone who owed him money.

Alphonse "Allie Shades" Malangone, one of the Genovese crime family's most important and powerful capos, came up under Generoso as well. On June 22, 1995, Malangone and others were indicted on charges of controlling New York City's private waste industry. Malangone went to trial and was found guilty following a five-year investigation documented in Takedown: The Fall of the Last Mafia Empire (an excellent read if you're looking for a good book). A group of 14 other organized crime figures, as well as "legitimate" carting company executives admitted to joining the mobbed-up cartel that dominated New York's billion-dollar waste hauling industry for decades, "driving up prices for commercial customers like stores, restaurants, office buildings, private hospitals and private schools," the Times reported. Malangone was convicted on October 21, 1997 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released on parole on April 5, 2010.

Being under Generoso also could be a death sentence. It was for five powerful mobsters (including some of the mob's most notorious killers). "If a guy had to go, he would go. Mickey just made them disappear," said the source.

Allie Shades Malangone, a Genovese family powerhouse in the 1990s,
met with the family bosses including  Generoso.

The Genovese crime family recently inducted a large number of men in Brooklyn. It remains the most powerful Cosa Nostra clan in the United States, but that's not quite the accolade it once was. The Gambinos and Lucheses also are currently active and are rebuilding. The Bonannos and Colombos are moribund, having been battered into near extinction by law enforcement, turnoats and dry snitches.

Reports of Commission's Death Greatly Exaggerated

"There's no Commission," said the source, who noted that the "five families" still police each other.

Created in 1931 under Charlie "Lucky" Luciano's auspices, the Commission had seven original members. Six are known. Only two authoritative sources (the memoirs of Joe Bonanno and Nicolo Gentile) exist, and they contradict each other as to the seventh, as the American Mafia website noted.  Sitting on the Commission were the New York bosses, Luciano, Bonanno, Tom Gagliano, Joe Profaci and Vincent Mangano, as well as Chicago's Alphonse Capone. s for the seventh, Bonanno named Buffalo boss Stefano Magaddino (a blood relation), while Gentile named Cleveland's Frank "Ciccio" Milano.

Nearly seven decades later, in an April 1998 New York Times story, Selwyn Raab wrote that the "underworld organization... is no longer in business.... " noting this conclusion was drawn based on intelligence that indicated it had not met in two years.

''It's too early to tell if the commission is permanently dead,'' Daniel J. Castleman, the Manhattan District Attorney's chief of investigations, told Raab. ''But without a commission there will be a significant disruption in the ability of organized crime to victimize people and to make a comeback in the industries they once dominated.''

The Commission provided planning and oversight for the Mafia's "interfamily rackets."

The mob has its way of doing things, as the former Queens-based source said. Now the three largest families make decisions and are largely running the remnants of the other two borgatas. It's established that the New York Gambinos, having replenished their ranks with Sicilians, has effective control over the New Jersey-based DeCavalcante family as well.

The goal is to stick with the 1931 organization plan. "They can replenish when they see fit but they have to stay within the quotas set by Luciano," the source said.

If the Mob continues to rebuild, it's inevitable that the Commission will be revived.

"Mickey Dimino" identified as an underboss

"Mickey Dimino” Generoso and Lawrence Dentico were both identified by the FBI as holding the underboss title in the Genovese crime family in 2004.

In February 1997, Genoroso was one of two high-ranking Genovese crime family members to plead guilty to extorting payoffs from a construction union and a garbage hauling company, the New York Times reported.

The case was noteworthy at the time because the two Genovese mobsters -- then acting-boss Liborio "Barney" Bellomo was the other -- charged in a 60-plus-count indictment copped pleas rather than go to trial. (Apparently, this case was one of the earlier ones in which inducted ranking members of organized crime made plea deals.)

Earlier in the 1990s, Bellomo had grown into one of the wealthiest and most feared mobsters in all of New York. He was closely tied to the Genovese crime family's most lucrative rackets, including the waterfront and Javits Center. In addition, he was said to be indirectly connected to some of the nation's preeminent heroin traffickers.

"The Chin" Gigante thought highly enough of Bellomo to name him the family's street boss in 1992. This vastly increased Liborio's fortunes as he was placed in control of most of the storied crime family's day-to-day operations.

Genoroso, meanwhile, lived behind the mob's historical veil of secrecy, maintaining a low profile but earning vast sums of illicit revenue. Generoso owned Vincent's Restaurant. His brother gave a surprisingly lengthy interview to The Villager in 2004 called Vincent’s restaurant celebrates 100 years on Mott St

The story noted that Giuseppe and Carmela Siano started with a pushcart located at the corner of Mott and Hester, where Little Italy blended into Chinatown (which systematically began gobbling up "Littler Italy," as it's now called.) The couple had commenced selling homemade, freshly prepared clams, mussels and scungilli directly from the pushcart, fragrant and delectable, back in 1894.

Vincent Generoso is quoted extensively in the story. He and Michele (often misspelled as Michael) were grandsons of Jimmy Generoso, a Siano cousin. “They all came to this country together, as stowaways on ships. Then some moved to Brooklyn, to Westchester, some moved all over.”

Another article published in 2004 offered different information regarding "Mickey Dimino" -- Generoso was said to be living in a Brooklyn residence. Aged 86 at the time, law enforcement officials believed that due to his advanced age, he had "become far less active in playing a key leadership role in the organization," a report noted.

Back in 1997 the Genovese family's fortunes, as well as Generoso's and Bellomo's, were suddenly in jeopardy. Generoso must've been horrified at seeing his name in the newspapers. As the case began to proceed, "in an unusual move, defense lawyers were seeking to introduce evidence that ... [Generoso and Bellomo] had passed lie detector tests showing their innocence of the murder charges," Selwyn Raab noted in the Times report, adding that David Breitbart, Generoso's chief lawyer, had proclaimed that both men had been examined by Federal law enforcement-employed polygraph experts.

Both Genoroso and Bellomo actually took lie detector tests, the first and only instance our source is aware of in which this happened. 

The two may have faced some heat for their actions by other members of the crime family. According to reports, the then-consiglieri of the Genovese crime family, also snagged in the case, was agitating for Bellomo's death. (There's no word regarding whether he wanted the same for Generoso; it's likely Ida would not have threatened Genoroso, who was likely considered an untouchable due to the vast wealth and power he'd quietly amassed.)

The two Genovese family mobsters -- Generoso and Bellomo -- faced life without parole, as did consiglieri James "The Little Guy" Ida.
James Ida supposedly wanted Genovese street boss
Bellomo whacked....

Mary Jo White, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of the State, whose office handled the case, said Bellomo was ''one of the leaders of one of the largest and most powerful organized crime groups in the country,'' and noted that his plea calls for a specific term of 10 years without parole. (Ironically, this seems to exemplify the effectiveness of the Genovese family's longstanding ploy of confusing everyone about where power resided. Bellomo was and is a power, but in this case it seems the wrong person may have been spotlighted.)

Bellomo and Generoso each denied participation in the mob murders alleged in a 65-count indictment. Asked why Generoso had accepted the deal instead of going to trial, a defense attorney replied, ''He felt strongly that he was going to win, but if he lost he would die in jail, and this way with good time off he is facing perhaps 15 months in prison.''

Another factor that likely made a plea agreement sound sweeter than usual was the fact that the defendants knew that Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco, former Luchese boss, was going to testify at the trial, and he did, detailing how the Genovese family was able to spin off vast sums of dollars from wide-ranging rackets connected for decades to San Gennaro.

Lawyers speaking on background noted that the two mobsters "apparently also won a concession from prosecutors that they would not be subpoenaed as witnesses to testify against the remaining defendants in the trial or against Vincent Gigante, who authorities say is the Genovese boss. Mr. Gigante is scheduled to be tried on unrelated Federal racketeering and murder charges next month in Brooklyn."

Organized crime experts quoted in the story said that Generoso and Bellomo had copped to the agreements because the two could use them to prove to cohorts that they had not been informers. Also, their taking the lie detector tests may have led to a sitdown at which the two could've faced an even more extreme sentence, from fellow mob members. The lie detector tests would've required some explaining.

Four defendants -- Anthony Pisapia, Louis Zacchia, Michael Autori and Leonard Cerami, a former aide to the Staten Island Borough President Guy V. Molinari --.charged in the same case admitted to participating in gambling and payoff conspiracies involving the San Gennaro Feast.

Bellomo and Generoso, then 78 years old, were not charged with San Gennaro-related crimes.

James "The Little Guy" Ida, described as then-consiglieri of the Genovese family, was the main defendant in the rackeetering and murder trial. The government had offered Ida a 15-year plea deal in exchange for his cooperation, which Ida simply refused.

"However, fellow mobster Bellomo accepted a plea agreement, reportedly enraging Ida," as Raab noted.

James Ida was caught complaining that LaToya Jackson,
who he was extorting, had paid with a bad check.
"The FBI was sufficiently concerned about the threat to notify Bellomo's lawyer and to place Bellomo in solitary confinement in jail during the trial. However, both Bellomo's and Ida's lawyers refuted reports that there was any tension between the two mobsters."

On April 24, 1997, a Federal jury decided that Ida, then-57, needed to forfeit his $1 million 11-acre estate in Bedford where he kept horses, published reports noted. Ida, identified at the time as the third most powerful Genovese family mobster, also was found guilty of running two gambling casinos, as well as conspiracy to transport stolen construction equipment and conspiracy to defraud the United States. In addition, he was convicted of racketeering, murder conspiracy and the murder of Antonio DiLorenzo in 1988. He also was convicted of conspiracy to murder Ralph DeSimone in 1991 and Dominic Tucci in 1995.

DiLorenzo was shot to death, his bullet-riddled body found in his own backyard. DeSimone was shot five times and left in the trunk of his car, which had been parked at La Guardia Airport in Queens. Both DeSimone and DiLorenzo were hit because the Genovese family bosses decided that the two were informants for the feds, published reports noted. Tucci was slated for death reportedly for having an affair with a Genovese associate's girlfriend but the murder plot in this case was not successful. (Read details of the trial and charges here; an Ida appeal here.)

Bellomo's lawyers stated that their client passed more than one polygraph tests regarding his involvement in the murders. Still, following alleged jailhouse tips from informants, wary FBI agents shaved Bellomo's head (they also plucked samples from his arms and legs) to test his hair for the drug lithium, which can be used to beat the polygraphs.No trace of the drug was found.

In February 1997, prosecutors dropped the DeSimone and DiLorenzo murder charges and offered Bellomo a plea to extorting payoffs from a construction union and a garbage hauling company. Bellomo accepted the deal and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Ida received a life sentence. (Former capo Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello retook control of the Genovese family's Little Italy crew.)

Larry Dentico is believed
to be retired now. But
who knows for sure?
The Feds weren't done with the wily Genovese boss with the shaved head yet, however. On July 13, 2001, the imprisoned Bellomo was indicted on charges related to the Genovese family's waterfront rackets, as well as for controlling the ILA. Bellomo again pleaded guilty to lesser charges -- and his new release date was pushed into 2004.

Then, on February 23, 2006, Bellomo and 30-plus Genovese family members were indicted on additional racketeering charges. Bellomo was specifically charged with ordering the 1998 Ralph Coppola murder. The acting captain of Bellomo's crew (and Bellomo's personal friend), Coppola disappeared on Sept. 16, 1998, a few weeks before he was to face sentencing for fraud. His body was never found. F.B.I. officials said that convicted mobsters had been saying that Coppola was whacked for "an unknown act of disrespect against Mr. Bellomo," the Times reported.

Government witness Peter Peluso, a former lawyer for the Genovese family, claimed that he himself had passed on Bellomo's order to place Coppola on the family's hit list.

As of March 2012, Ida is serving life without parole at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Otisville, a medium security facility in New York. However, currently, the 76-year-old mobster is serving his life sentence at Schuylkill FCI.

Bellomo finally departed prison on Dec. 1, 2008, after serving 12 years. He is considered to be part of the Genovese crime family's leadership today.

From 1997-1998, Generoso spent 15 months in federal prison, copping to the plea agreement. In the end, he avoided that federal racketeering murder trial that sent Ida upriver for life. By 2004, Generoso probably was serving as co-underboss due to his advanced age. Lawrence J. “Larry Fab” Dentico, from Seaside Park, N.J., held the same title. He reportedly had extensive ties to the Genovese family from about the 1950s, when he was a soldier under the family's violent founder, Vito Genovese himself, reports noted.

Dentico eventually found a place as Louis A. “Bobby” Manna's top aide. In 1989, Manna, then-consigliere who oversaw the Genovese family's New Jersey operations (and was caught on surveillance wiretaps plotting John and Gene Gotti's death) was sent away for 80 years for racketeering and murder conspiracy. In August 2005, Dentico and other mobsters were indicted on for extortion conspiracy and conspiracy to commit murder, as well as for loansharking, sports bookmaking, numbers running, and football-ticket gambling. Dentico pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 51 months in 2006. He departed prison on May 12, 2009.

As a sidenote, around 2004, the FBI offered the following figures as the size of each of the Five Families and identified the following ranking members:

GENOVESE: 142 soldiers, 22 capos. 
Boss: Vincent “Chin” Gigante
Acting Boss: Liborio “Barney” Bellomo
Underboss: Michele “Mickey Dimino” Generoso and Lawrence Dentico
Consigliere: James “Jimmy” Ida

168 soldiers, 17 capos.
Boss: Peter Gotti
Acting Boss: Arnold “The Beast” Squitieri
Underboss: Anthony “Tony Connecticut” Megale
Consigliere: Joseph “JoJo” Corozzo.

82 soldiers, 9 capos. 
Boss: Vittorio “Vic” Amuso
Acting Boss: Louis “Cross Bay” Daidone
Underboss: Steven Crea
Consigliere: Joseph Caridi

131 soldiers, 15 capos. 
Boss: Joseph Massino
Underboss: Salvatore Vitale
Consigliere: Anthony Spero

60 soldiers, 5 capos. 
Boss: Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico 
Acting Boss: Joel “Joe Waverly” Cacace
Underboss: Thomas Gieoli
Consigliere: Ralph Lombardo