Longtime Genovese crime family mobster Venero “Benny Eggs” Mangano passed away at the age of 95.
According to the feds, Mangano was one of the New York mafia families senior leaders on the streets holding the rank of underboss. The 95-year-old mobster who got the nickname “Benny Eggs” because of an egg business run by his mother was one of the most respected members of organized crime in NY. He was a war veteran serving as a bomber tail gunner for the US Army Air Corps in Europe during World War II. It was after he returned from the war when he joined up with a mafia crew in Greenwich Village that would eventually be run by Vincent “The Chin” Gigante. Both mobsters would rise through the ranks of the Cosa Nostra family with Gigante eventually taking over as boss with Mangano serving as his right-hand man.
Mangano operated for years out of a social club on Thompson street and controlled several mob rackets including the families extremely lucrative piece of the window replacement scam. Four of the five NY mafia families controlled a cartel of window replacement companies from the 70’s into the 1990’s that held sway over $150 million dollars in contracts from the New York City Housing Authority. The mob’s influence in the local Iron Workers Union allowed them to control the industry and to charge a mafia tax of $1-$2 on almost every window replacement both public and private throughout New York. A mob associate turned rat helped the feds take down the mob’s window replacement scheme in 1990 after a two-year investigation.
Several mobsters including Mangano were indicted and he was later sentenced to more than 15 years behind bars. While he was behind bars in 1997 the feds called on him to testify against the Genovese family boss Chin Gigante but he refused saying “What do you want to do, shoot me?” and “Shoot me, but I’m not going to answer any questions”. He was put on the witness stand but he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer any questions holding firm to the mob’s oath of silence. The aging mafioso was released from prison in 2006 but the long prison term had taken its toll and he was lucky to have survived after multiple heart attacks and emergency operations. Gigante had been convicted in that 1997 trial and it was rumored that Mangano could have taken over as boss of the Genovese family after his release.
But it doesn’t seem like that ever came to pass perhaps because of his poor health or the fact that Gigante continued to run the family from behind bars for several more years according to the feds. Even with his health fading he would take over as the families underboss and served on a rotating panel of veterans overseeing control of the Genovese family according to various sources.