This past Tuesday night, BarbWire Executive Editor Tami Jackson interviewed Michael Franzese.
As written at his site, MichaelFranzese.com:
Michael Franzese grew up as the son of the notorious Underboss of New York’s violent and feared Colombo crime family. At his most affluent, he generated an estimated $5 to $8 million per week from legal and illegal businesses. It was a life filled with power, luxury…and deadly violence.
In 1986, mafia boss, Michael Franzese was named one of the biggest money earners the mob had seen since Al Capone, by Vanity Fair.
At the age of 35, Fortune Magazine listed him as number 18 on its list of the “Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses”, just 5 behind John Gotti. Avoiding traditional mob domains, Michael masterminded brilliant scams on the edge of the legitimate business world.
From auto dealerships and union kickbacks, to financial services and the sports and entertainment industries, to a multi-billion dollar gasoline tax scheme, he earned millions in cash every week at his peak.
Not surprisingly, Michael quickly became the target of Manhattan’s famed federal prosecutor, Rudy Giuliani. After promising Michael 100 years behind bars after indicting him on racketeering charges, Rudy only came up empty handed. Escaping four more indictments, it seemed Michael Franzese truly was invincible.
While producing Knights of the City, a break dance movie filmed in Florida, Michael met a beautiful dancer from Anaheim, California, named Camille Garcia, whose innocent beauty and faith turned his world upside down.
After falling in love and eventually marrying Cammy, Michael took the rap on racketeering charges. He pled guilty, accepted a 10-year prison sentence and vowed to do the unthinkable – walk away from the mob. Nobody of his rank had ever just walked away – and lived. Until now.
Michael is currently starring in Kevin and Sam Sorbo’s terrific new movie, Let There Be Light. — he plays Pastor Vinny.
In this interview Michael recounts his past as a “made man” and his encounter with the amazing grace that set him free, and his part in Let There Be Light and his ministry.
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