Still a Hoodlum? Luchese Turncoat Frank Gioia's New Identity Blown By Arizona Newspaper Report

Frank Gioia was a Luchese soldier born and raised into the Mafia.He flipped in the 1990s, helped convict around 70 wiseguys, and departed prison in 1999 for the Federal Witness Protection Program.

Frank (Gioia Jr.) Capri

We now know many previously confidential details. For instance Frank Gioia morphed into Frank Capri, an Arizona businessman, real-estate developer, and restaurateur who ran Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, a restaurant chain that touted flash-fried pickle chips and whiskey hot wings.

The Arizona Republic investigated the former mobster and recently published its findings in a story headlined Mafia in our midst.

Back in the 1990s, when he testified in trials, numerous times serving to support allegations made on the stand by superstar witness Al D'Arco, Gioia was described by prosecutors as a devastating turncoat viewed as a sort of successor to Sammy the Bull Gravano.

Now the feds must be eating crow again. Turns out Gioia has been revealed as having a lot more in common with the Bull than anyone had previously known. He didn't sell Ecstasy, but Lord knows, he's been getting away with all kinds of shenanigans.

Based on documents and interviews, "Gioia used his government-provided identity to create havoc. He or his companies negotiated deals to build Toby Keith restaurants with mall owners and developers throughout the United States, then took tens of millions of dollars meant to pay for construction and walked away," the AZ story reported.

And as the report noted, none of Capri's business partners would've been able to uncover tbe truth about his past. Such as his being "a confessed murderer, drug dealer, gun runner, arsonist, extortionist, loan shark and leg breaker."

Because the federal government had manufactured a new, false identity for him, Capri’s criminal background was spotless.

"That’s because the Witness Protection Program isn’t set up to protect the public," as AZ reported.

"Few controls are in place to ensure criminals who enter the program don’t commit new crimes or create problems for those they encounter in their new lives. There are even fewer controls to prevent them from leaving the program or track them if they do."

Now around 48 lawsuits have been filed in 31 cities, according to Arizona Republic research. "Judges have ordered Capri or his companies to pay plaintiffs $65 million in cases tied to their Toby Keith restaurants, according to the latest material obtained from court documents and media accounts."

AZ did a thorough job detailing Gioia's mob history. It lasted all of two years, however.

Frank Gioia Jr. was made on his 24th birthday on Oct. 2, 1991 at a house in Queens. He told of the occasion years later while testifying in a New York courtroom.

"He knocked on the door and was told to wait in a room with four other guys. They were called down to the basement one by one. Gioia went last.

"They waited for him around a poker table. Soldiers, captains, ranking members" of the Luchese crime family.

"Gioia was told to take a seat and put out his hand, extend his finger. A captain pricked Gioia with a needle, blotted up the blood with a tissue and told Gioia to hold the crumpled wad. Then acting Lucchese captain Sal Avellino spoke from the head of the table.

“Repeat after me,” he said. And Gioia did, word for word, pledging the oath of omertà as the tissue was set alight.

“If I ever betray my brothers in this room, may I burn like this piece of paper in my hand.”

Gioia plotted a dozen murders, sold drugs, spent millions on "champagne, women and lawyers."

In 1993, Gioia was arrested on federal drug charges and faced 30 years to life, when he decided to flip.

Mikie Scars tells us there's an "inside" story not so much about why Frank GioiaJr. flipped, but why he suddenly decided to give the Feds entirely new information. 

His "refreshed" memory resulted from something that happened when a mobster pulled a not-very-bright move, and walked into the courtroom while Frank was testifying about Luchese business in an attempt to intimidate him.

The above picture -- which features John A. Gotti and others (Mikie Scars is there, as is the not-very-bright mobster who we won't identify right now) -- is a hint as to what is coming.....