Luchese Soldier Who Relocated To Arizona in Witness Protection Program Was Arrested Yesterday

Frank Capri, 52, of Scottsdale, Arizona--whose real name is Frank Gioia Jr., a Luchese soldier from New York who flipped in the 1990s and moved to Arizona in the early 2000s—was arrested February 5 with his mother.

Frank Gioia, undated photo

Capri -- or Gioia -- made a name for himself as a big-shit real estate and restaurant developer in Arizona.

Do all these ex-wiseguys move to frigging Arizona?

He and his mom appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle H. Burns following their arrest.

On January 28, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment charging Capri, Debbie Corvo, and another individual with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the operation of various branded restaurant locations in Arizona and across the United States.

The trial is scheduled for April 7, 2020, before United States District Judge John J. Tuchi.

Capri was reportedly behind the collapse of a restaurant chain named after country music recording star Toby Keith.

About 10 years ago, Phoenix-based companies controlled by Capri started opening restaurants under the name Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill.

By 2015, 19 of the 20 restaurants had closed. Developers sued Capri, claiming he failed to pay contractors, broke agreements to lease space in shopping centers, and took millions of dollars that were supposed to cover construction costs.

Then Capri, ignoring the negative local media coverage, developed another restaurant chain, named after country band Rascal Flatts.

He was behind projects to open Rascal Flatts restaurants in 19 cities, including Chicago, Orlando, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh.

Only one Rascal Flatts restaurant opened -- and then closed after about a year in business.

The Arizona Republic reported that Capri used his girlfriend, Tawney Costa, and her business associate, Chris Burka, as fronts in the Rascal Flatts restaurant projects.

Ray Roshto, who owns Ussher Construction in Glendale, Arizona, said Capri hired him to build Rascal Flatts restaurants in five cities.

Capri insisted on keeping his name off contracts and paying for construction work through a company called RF Restaurants, Roshto said.

The Arizona Republic also reported that in 1999 the federal government gave him the name Frank Capri, along with a Social Security number, and a 1967 birthday.

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.

My Blue ... Arizona?
Former Gambino underboss Sammy the Bull went to Arizona after witness protection, then returned there after he served the long-ass prison sentence for getting into the illegal narcotics business... Gravano was seen and photographed at Uncle Sal's restaurant in Scottsdale in October 2017....

Former Bonanno capo Richard "Shellackhead" Cantarella moved to Scottsdale and took a shot at the reality show business with Unprotected. As we noted: The show's hook was going from a life of crime to life in the suburbs proves to be the ultimate challenge in Oxygen Media's quirky new half-hour docu-comedy series Unprotected. (I laughed, I cried...)

Funny how many of them turn up in Arizona — after they screw up and a journalist outs them...

As for Frank Gioia Jr., he 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.