Genovese Wiseguy Frank Giovinco Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

Frank Giovinco was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for extortion conspiracy and participating in a racketeering conspiracy in connection with the Genovese Crime Family’s control of two local chapters of a labor union.

Genovese wiseguy Frank Giovinco
Genovese wiseguy Frank Giovinco was sentenced to four years.

Giovinco was convicted on December 3, 2019, following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who sentenced Giovinco .

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said in a media statement: “For years, Frank Giovinco, as a member of the Genovese Crime Family, instilled fear in victims and perpetrated kickback schemes to tighten the Family’s stranglehold over two labor unions. For committing these crimes, Giovinco will now spend four years in prison.”

Strauss recently replaced Geoffrey S. Berman, who United States Attorney General William Barr tried unsuccessfully to fire Friday night; President Trump then fired Berman on Saturday after it was agreed that Berman's deputy, Strauss, would replace him. All this was apparently because Berman's Southern District Office had put the President's former personal lawyer in prison and is investigating his current one. (President Biden's Attorney General, Preet Bharara, will get to the bottom of this one day. We're kidding of course. Possibly.)

The largest of the families operating in the New York City area is the Genovese Crime Family. In the early 1990s, the Genovese Crime Family put Giovinco into a scheme to control the waste carting industry in New York City. Giovinco became a made member in the Genovese Crime Family sometime in the late-1990s.

In more recent years, up until 2017, Giovinco conspired with other members and associates of the Genovese Crime Family to commit a wide range of crimes to enrich themselves and the Genovese Crime Family, including multiple acts of extortion, honest services fraud, and bribery.

Giovinco's activity for the Genovese Crime Family was centered on two local chapters (the “Unions”) of a labor union. Giovinco participated in a host of schemes designed to manipulate and siphon money from the Unions for the benefit of the Genovese Crime Family.

Among other things, Giovinco extorted a financial adviser (the “Adviser”) and a labor union official (“Official-1”) for a cut of commissions made from union investments. Audio recordings captured Giovinco planning to “rattle the cage” of a victim, and to have another victim’s “feet held to the fire.” When Official-1 failed to pay the commissions demanded by Giovinco and other members of the Genovese Crime Family, Official-1’s life was threatened by Giovinco and his co-conspirators. Giovinco further plotted to profit from union investments by paying kickbacks to Official-1 and others, in exchange for a cut of future commissions.

Giovinco also participated in the long-running extortion of a union president (“Official-2”) for annual tribute payments of more than $10,000, and sought a job at the union for the purpose of exerting control over Official-1 on the Genovese Crime Family’s behalf, and threatening to replace Official-1.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and Office of Labor-Management Standards, the New York City Police Department, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly J. Ravener, Jason A. Richman, and Justin V. Rodriguez are in charge of the prosecution.