RIP Tough Tony: Sources Say Elusive Genovese Family Powerhouse Was Official Consiglieri

Longtime Genovese family powerhouse Anthony (Tough Tony) Federici, who ran a landmark Queens-based Italian restaurant, died this morning of natural causes, sources tell Cosa Nostra News.

Anthony Tough Tony Federeci
Still from YouTube interview with Tough Tony Federici.

While the elusive Federici long claimed he was retired from the position of capo in the nation's most powerful Mafia clan, the Genovese crime family, sources say Tough Tony, aka Tony Park Side, was part of the Genovese crime family's formal hierarchy, holding the position of official consiglieri, at the time of his death. Prior, he'd been acting underboss of the crime family.

Federici, who remarkably appeared in several YouTube video interviews about six years ago (three of which are posted below), was the longtime owner of Park Side Restaurant, a popular Italian restaurant located in the heart of Corona, Queens that his parents opened in 1960 under a different name. And, despite the incessant denials, Federici was a power in the Genovese crime family for decades, and was under FBI investigation almost that entire time.

As for cause of death, one ever-reliable wiseguy source (affiliated with another one of the Five Families) told us he believed it was natural causes.

"I seen (Federici) a couple of months ago at the cardiologist. He was very gaunt and I just know that he has been battling an illness. He and I spoke, but I didn't want to pry. He was a good friend of mine. He knew this life inside out and was a humble guy but truly a tough guy who never flaunted it or his position. He would clean tables with the bus boys in his restaurant. All I can say, he was a good friend and a man's man."

Anthony Federici and Mickey Dimino
Tough Tony, seated left, and Mickey Dimino.

He allegedly came up under Genovese underboss Michele (Mickey Dimino) Generoso, another longtime Genovese family powerhouse who died in November 2015 of natural causes. Federici reportedly took control of Mikey Dimino's crew after Dimino died.

We previously covered those highly unusual video interviews, noting those aware of the allegations that have long hovered around Federici would find them fascinating. Here's an alleged sitting capo in the Genovese crime family showing his face. He looks the part and sounds the part and he's certainly the real deal. And amazingly enough, he's not alone. In one, reputed Gambino wiseguy Joseph (Joey No Socks) Cinque, who allegedly survived at least one gangland hit attempt, figures prominently.

The interviews touch on many things and range from the philosophical to the biographical. In one, Federici says: "There's no order. Absolutely. Years ago, there was."

Is he referring to law and order? Probably on some level. But from the general context, he seems to be pining for the "old days," when Corona, Queens, not only was Italian, but was primarily Calabrian.

His parents arrived here from Calabria, he says. "The whole neighborhood was people from Calabria."

His mother and father opened Park Side, originally called the Corona Supper Club. It initially boasted seven tables (it now has 50 plus).

The menu consisted of "peasant food," Federici noted. Pasta e fagioli, "pasta and bean." Pasta e lenticchie, "pasta and lentil. " Sufrite, lungs and other organ meat, though not the liver, fried with peppers, tomatoes, parsley, onions, (outlawed by USDA).

In another video, there's discussion of the Five Star Diamond Award distributed by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS). Park Side has won it every year since it opened in 1960. This is where alleged Gambino wiseguy Joey No Socks, aka Joe Cinque, comes in.... 

Joey No Socks, who was convicted of a felony in 1989 for art theft, was onstage with then-President-elect Donald Trump on New Year's Eve 2017, looking very much like the cat that ate the canary. Reports describe him as a convicted felon with ties to former Gambino boss John Gotti. (Cinque can be seen in a video obtained by the Palm Beach Daily News, cheering loudly as a tuxedo-clad Trump voices myriad campaign promises.) 

Cinque, the chairman/CEO of AAHS, details how the Federici family has steadily won the Five Star Diamond Award for many decades. (Cinque also has given the award to more than a dozen Trump properties, including golf courses, hotels, and casinos.)

One topic never mentioned is Cosa Nostra, of course. Federici talks about the pigeons he keeps, but doesn't breathe a word about when he was allegedly upped to acting boss when Vincent (Chin) Gigante faced a major racketeering case. (According to Gang Land, we got this one wrong: Federici turned it down. But hey, bottom line, we still scooped GLN.)

Federici attributed his success as a restaurateur largely to the pigeon coops he keeps on Park Side's roof. In 1966, his pigeons compelled him to purchase the property on which Park Side rests (so he could install the coops on the roof). Therefore, he has no landlord "banging him on the head" with the rent increases that drive away many otherwise successful restaurateurs. 

Joe Cinque joins Tough Tony to chat about Park Side...

His pigeons, he also notes, were not something his father liked. His father believed having pigeon coops around would make certain members of the family (meaning Federici blood relations) view him as the farmer he'd been Italy. And his father wanted to be viewed as a successful American, not a Calabrian farmer, Federici noted.

Note: Certain health issues kept us from blogging here these past few months. Then, just as we were readying to post an update on former Bonanno capo Dominick Cicale, among other things, we caught the latest strain of the frigging coronavirus disease, which we are still dealing with. Luckily, we were vaccinated as well as boosted, so the symptoms have been mild, though they're still kicking our ass and causing us to quarantine....