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NEW JERSEY: THE GENOVESES CRIME FAMILY

Vito Genovese

The Genovese crime family’s New Jersey faction is a group of Italian-American mobsters within the Genovese crimefamily that control the family’s interests in organized crime activities in the state of New Jersey. The faction has maintained a strong presence in the North Jersey area since the prohibition era. It is divided into multiple crews and has increased in power over the years with members controlling illegal activities in labor racketeering, loansharking, extortion, and illegal gambling. Members within the faction have held top leadership positions in the Genovese family dating back to the 1930s with underboss Guarino “Willie” Moretti. From the 1990s until his death in 2010, Tino “the Greek” Fiumara had been in control of the New Jersey faction.

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Prohibition era

The faction started as a bootlegging crew under the control of New YorkMasseria family boss Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria. During Prohibition, the faction was in charge of smuggling large amounts of alcohol into New York’s speakeasies. At the peak of Prohibition in 1930, violence erupted between the two rival New York families. Known as the Castellammarese War, Masseria battled with Salvatore Maranzano, boss of the Brooklyn-based Castellammarese clan, for control over all Italian gangs in the US. Masseria was murdered in April 1931, followed by Maranzano’s murder the following September, ending the war. Charles “Lucky” Luciano established the Commission and the Jersey faction continued working for his family.

Lucky Luciano

The current “family” was founded by Charles “Lucky” Luciano, and was known as the Luciano crime family from 1931 to 1957, when it was renamed after boss Vito Genovese. Originally in control of the waterfront on the West Side of Manhattan and the Fulton Fish Market, the family was run for years by “the Oddfather”, Vincent “the Chin” Gigante, who feigned insanity by shuffling unshaven through New York’s Greenwich Village wearing a tattered bath robe and muttering to himself incoherently to avoid prosecution. The Genovese family is the oldest and the largest of the “Five Families”. Finding new ways to make money in the 21st century, the family took advantage of lax due diligence by banks during the housing bubble with a wave of mortgage frauds. Prosecutors say loan shark victims obtained home equity loans to pay off debts to their mob bankers. The family found ways to use new technology to improve on illegal gambling, with customers placing bets through offshore sites via the Internet.

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Although the leadership of the Genovese family seemed to have been in limbo after the death of Gigante in 2005, they appear to be the most organized and powerful family in the United States, with sources believing that Liborio “Barney” Bellomo is the current boss of the organization. Unique in today’s Mafia, the family has benefited greatly from members following “Omertà,” a code of conduct emphasizing secrecy and non-cooperation with law enforcement and the justice system. While many mobsters from across the country have testified against their crime families since the 1980s, the Genovese family has only had 8 members turn state’s evidence in its history.

I’M Italian magazine

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