The feds once again have John “Sonny” Franzese the former underboss of the Colombo crime family in their sights as they look to raid his prison commissary account.
The account contains a little more than $10 thousand dollars and the feds want permission to seize it to pay off forfeitures owed by Franzese. The longtime New York mafia leader was convicted back in 2010 on racketeering charges which included the extortion of the Hustler strip club. He was sentenced to 96 months in prison and ordered to pay a forfeiture judgment of $116,500. To date not a nickel of the money toward the judgment has been paid and now the feds are tired of waiting.
“John (Sonny) Franzese“
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Mantell filled court documents in an effort to have the funds in the prison account seized, leaving the mobster with $250 in spending money. His son and former Colombo family mobster Michael Franzese was furious with the feds and said “The government should be as diligent fighting ISIS as they are trying to take food money from a 98-year-old inmate, Believe me, it really hurts him what they’re doing.” He also pointed out that the money in his dad’s account isn’t really his as it was sent by family members.
“Sonny Franzese in his younger days“
The younger Franzese said his father is broke and doesn’t have any money to pay back the judgement. The money is his account “He doesn’t have any money. He’s broke,” Michael Franzese said. “He uses the money to buy eye drops. He buys Cup-A-Soup, hygiene items. He doesn’t eat any junk food, but once in a while he eats ice cream. He can’t even make phone calls because they put a lien on the account. It’s unbelievable.” Franeze at age 98 is currently the oldest inmate currently doing time in the federal prison system, but that hasn’t stopped the feds from cutting him any kind of slack.
But prosecutors point out that the elder mobster didn’t make it this far without being tough and having a very violent past in the mafia. Prosecutors said that Sonny has committed so many murders that even he struggled to keep track of them and has continually engaged in brutal violence through the years. Sonny Franzese is scheduled to be released to a halfway house in February of 2017 right before he turns 100 years old. The family has filed for early released under the “compassionate release” policy to allow him to be released early, but have yet to an answer according to Michael.