Prosecutors wanted reputed Genovese crime family soldier James Bernardone thrown back in prison after violating his $750,000 bail agreement. He was photographed outside of a Bronx funeral home where he was attending a wake that authorities say was packed with wiseguys. Bernardone was indicted for racketeering and is out on bail awaiting trial and under his bail agreement was not allowed to associate with mobsters. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said that the 45 minute stay at the funeral of Anthony Villani Sr whose son Anthony Jr is a reputed member of the Lucchese crime family was a flagrant violation of his court order. The feds say the wake featured a Mafia who’s who with members of both the Genovese and Lucchese crime families attending that included the current Lucchese family boss Steven Crea.
“James Bernardone (right) with Genovese family associate outside funeral home”
Bernardone said he was simply paying his respects to Anthony’s father because he was a longtime neighborhood friend. Brooklyn federal judge Nicholas Garaufis said a 45 minute visit meant you either sat in a chair and prayed in room with the coffin or you talked to people you legally shouldn’t have. After a stiff tongue lashing from by Garaufis he decided not to revoke Bernardone’s bail for what he called a 45 minute lapse in judgement. A lucky break for Bernardone today but the former business agent for Local 124 of the International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades may not be so lucky at his upcoming trial. He is charged with conspiring to extort a subcontractor on various construction projects being done in Manhattan and Queens on behalf of the Genovese family.