The world of organized crime has always captured the attention and imagination of the masses. From movies like The Godfather to shows like The Sopranos, the stories of notorious mobsters have become an integral part of popular culture. One such figure is Michael Franzese, a former capo of the Colombo crime family and a man who successfully left the mob to embark on a new path. This day, we delve into the life of Michael Franzese, his early years, and his net worth.
Net Worth: $1 Million
Date of Birth: May 27, 1951
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York
Profession: Boss, Film Producer
Michael Franzese Early Life
Michael Franzese was born on May 27, 1951, in Brooklyn, New York, to John “Sonny” Franzese and Cristina Capobianco. His father, a powerful member of the Colombo crime family, played a significant role in shaping his son’s future. John Franzese was a notorious mobster who gained infamy for his criminal activities, including loan sharking, extortion, and murder. As a result, Michael grew up in a household where crime was the family business, and loyalty to the Mafia was paramount.
Despite his upbringing, Michael initially had aspirations of becoming a doctor. He attended Hofstra University with the goal of pursuing a career in medicine. However, a life-altering event would drastically change his trajectory. In 1970, his father was sentenced to 50 years in prison for masterminding a series of bank robberies. This prompted Michael to abandon his studies and follow in his father’s footsteps.
Michael’s involvement in organized crime began with him assisting his father in various criminal activities. His intelligence, charisma, and fearlessness quickly caught the attention of the Mafia hierarchy, and he was soon initiated as a “made man” in the Colombo crime family. By the early 1980s, Michael had risen through the ranks to become a capo, overseeing his own crew of mobsters.
Michael Franzese Personal Life
Michael Franzese’s personal life has been an interesting journey of transformation and redemption. Despite his criminal past, he has managed to find love and start a family. In 1985, he married Camille Garcia, a woman he met while visiting his father in prison. The couple has four children together, and their relationship has been a source of stability and support for Michael as he turned his back on the mob.
Camille played a significant role in Michael’s decision to leave the Mafia. She encouraged him to pursue a different life, and together, they found faith in Christianity. Their religious beliefs have since become an essential aspect of their lives and have helped them navigate the challenges that come with Michael’s past.
Michael Franzese Career
After leaving the Mafia and serving his prison sentence, Michael Franzese embarked on a new career as a motivational speaker, author, and advocate for at-risk youth. He has traveled the world, sharing his story and offering guidance to those who may be tempted by the allure of organized crime.
In addition to his speaking engagements, Michael has authored several books that chronicle his life and experiences in the mob. These include “Blood Covenant,” “Quitting the Mob,” and “I’ll Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse.” His works serve as cautionary tales and provide valuable insights into the inner workings of the Mafia.
Michael has also made numerous appearances on television and in documentaries, offering his expertise on organized crime and the dangers associated with it. He has been featured on programs such as “60 Minutes,” “NBC Nightly News,” and “The History Channel.”
As a reformed mobster, Michael Franzese has used his unique experiences and perspective to help others avoid the life he once lived. He has worked with law enforcement agencies, schools, and community organizations to educate and inspire people to make better choices. Through his efforts, Michael has transformed his life from one of crime and violence to one of redemption and service.
Michael Franzese Net Worth
During his time with the Colombo crime family, Michael Franzese was involved in various lucrative criminal enterprises. One of his most profitable ventures was the gasoline bootlegging scheme, where he successfully evaded taxes on gasoline sales and made millions of dollars in the process. At the peak of his criminal career, Michael was said to be generating more than $8 million per week for the Mafia, making him one of the most financially successful mobsters in history.
According to Fortune Magazine, Michael Franzese was ranked number 18 on the list of “Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses” in 1986. At the height of his criminal career, Michael’s estimated net worth was well over $50 million. However, his wealth would not last forever, as his life as a mobster was filled with danger and uncertainty.
In 1985, Michael was indicted on federal racketeering charges, and after a long legal battle, he pled guilty to two counts in 1986. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution amounting to $14 million. During his time in prison, Michael claims to have experienced a spiritual awakening that led him to leave the Mafia and turn his life around.
Upon his release from prison, Michael devoted his life to helping others avoid the pitfalls of organized crime. He became a motivational speaker, author, and an advocate for at-risk youth. He has written several books, including “Blood Covenant,” which details his life in the mob and his decision to leave it behind. Today, Michael’s net worth is considerably less than during his mob days, but he has managed to build a successful career helping others learn from his experiences.