The 49-year-old wiseguy turned informant was inducted into the New York Mafia family back in 2013 according to reports. But last year he walked in the Manhattan headquarters of the FBI and said he needed protection and was ready to cooperate. According to Pennisi a series of events led him to believe his mafia pals were wrongly fingering him for being a rat. He was concerned that he was marked for death so he decided it was time to turn on his wiseguy pals. The feds were so impressed with him after the Castelle trial that they planned to use him in the racketeering trial of Frank (Frankie G) Giovinco.
Giovinco was busted along with Vincent Esposito and other Genovese mobsters and associates earlier this year. The case centered around the Cosa Nostra families control of the Local 2D of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union. All the defendants including Esposito have taken plea deals leaving Giovinco as the last man standing. While Pennisi doesn’t have information as to the union shakedown and wrongdoings he can testify that he and Frankie G were introduced to each other as made guys proving that Frankie is a made member of the Genovese family.
Pennisi would also take the stand and testify that a mafia associate has to demonstrate the ability to make money and or commit violent acts in order to get sponsored for induction. He would explain to the jury that as both a mob associate and solider a portion of all illegal proceeds have to be kicked up to mob superiors as tribute according to the Ganglandnews report. Feds seem to believe that having Pennisi help prove that Frankie G was indeed a member of the NY Mafia family should strengthen their case against him.
But before Pennisi could take the stand Manhattan Federal Court Judge Victor Marrero delayed the start of the trial till November. In addition to the Giovinco trial, he will also appear in White Plains Federal Court this summer. There he will testify against five Lucchese family mobsters charged with various racketeering charges including the murder of former Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish. Among the defendants, in that case, are high ranking Lucchese mobsters Matthew Madonna and Steven Crea.
During the Castelle trial, Pennisi laid out the inner working of the Lucchese crime family including listing the families seven active crews. He even detailed a recent coup from within the crime family which led to Michael DeSantis becoming the families new acting boss. It seems like Pennisi is proving to be quite a find for the feds and could make quite an impact before his time on the witness stand comes to an end. There is no telling where John Pennisi pops up next.