How much is Michael Franzese worth?
|Net Worth:||$3 Million|
|Date of Birth:||May 27, 1951|
|Country:||United States of America|
About Michael Franzese
Michael Franzese is an American author and television personality. He’s best known for being a former mobster and caporegime of the Colombo crime family. The son of the former underboss John “Sonny” Franzese dropped out of a pre-med program at the Hofstra University and entered the crime in the 1970s, which is when his career began.
How Did Michael Franzese Get So Rich?
Being part of the Franzese family helped the caporegime win millions of dollars. During the entire 1970s, he was mentored by the Colombo soldier Joseph Vitacco (known as Joe-Joe). He met various important figures such as John Gotti and Angelo Ruggiero. Later that decade, only in his twenties, Michael was making more than $70.000 for just a week thanks to his meetings and partnerships. In 1980, he became a caporegime of a crew that consists of 300 people. By that time, in 1984 to be more specific, his greatest net worth was the staggering $20 billion.
Starting in the 1980s, he began working over gasoline bootlegging. He collaborated with mafia boss Lawrence Salvatore Iorizzo, who was able to create a scheme to defraud the federal government out of the gasoline taxes. They set up 18 stock-bearer companies in Panama mainly because of the law in the country. After partnering with the Russian Mafia, they were able to the money from state and federal taxes. At that time, his career was at its highest and he was making more than $1 million per week from his gas scheme. The revenue in stolen gasoline tax is believed to vary from $50 to $250 million. This and the other businesses of the mafia boss explain how his net worth exceeded $20 billion.
Why Is He So Famous?
Michael Franzese rose to fame immediately after his birth. He was born on May 27, 1951, in Brooklyn, New York. He’s the first of eight children to John and Christina Franzese. His Italian father is part of the Colombo crime family and worked as an underboss. His mother worked as a cigarette girl, which is how she met Sonny. Initially, Michael questioned his biological father and thought he was adopted by Sonny, however, during his teenage years, it was confirmed that Sonny is his biological father.
Growing up, Michael spent most of his youth on Long Island. After his high school graduation, in 1969, he enrolled at Hofstra University. There, he entered a pre-med program as his family didn’t want him to associate himself with organized crime. However, after his father was sentenced to 50 years in prison for bank robbery, he dropped out of college to help his family. He quickly became acquainted with his father’s friends, especially Joseph Colombo who helped him start off. By 1975, Franzese took the so-called blood oath alongside the likes of Jimmy Angelino, Salvatore Miciotta, and John Minerva, and became inducted as a made man.
What Makes Him So Successful?
The success of Michael comes from his many businesses surrounding gasoline, entertainment, and sports management. During the 1970s and 1980s, concurrently with gasoline bootlegging, the mobster had a stronghold on businesses such as car dealerships, auto repair shops, leasing companies, contractor companies, movie production, distribution companies, restaurants, nightclubs, video stores, and travel agencies.
In April 1985, Michael Franzese was acquitted of racketeering charges. By the end of the year, he was sentenced to five years and was ordered to pay $1.7 million for his theft of the gas taxes. By March 1986, after pleading guilty to tax and racketeering conspiracy, he was sentenced to ten years in federal prison and was ordered to pay more than $15. Million in restitution. After serving 43 months, in 1989, Franzese was released from prison.
Throughout the next decade, he was arrested multiple times in the Los Angeles and New York areas. During one of his imprisonments, in 1991 he became a born-again Christian. In early 1995, he officially retired from the mob and moved to California with his family. Since then, he has been an author, motivational speaker, and media and television personality that has been interviewed on many radio and television projects
Michael Franzese is one of the richest gangsters of all time. For just two decades, he was able to make more than $20 billion. Despite his retirement from the mob, to this day he can still be seen in many lists that highlight the richest and most famous criminals in the world.