How does a kid who started out working at his fathers Video and Record shop on 18th street in Brooklyn become the main contact between the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the American Cosa Nostra? Meet Franky Boy aka Francesco Paolo Augusto Calì. He was born in March of 1965 in New York to an immigrant shopkeeper from Palermo. Franky Boy’s father has a clean record, but he had business ties to some of the Pizza Connection heroin dealers.
This week I spoke to a few former Gambinos and they thought it was pretty strange Franky is now the Underboss, as they knew Franky Boy as a kid who worked in a record store and was never in the streets. They expressed surprise that he has morphed into a big deal because he never did any of the high risk cowboy crimes that the rest had done on their way up.
Franky Boy is part of the "NEW" American Cosa Nostra that relies on blood and clan ties to do its business. He became close to Jackie "Nose" D'Amico, a Capo who ran a crew on 18th Ave in Brooklyn. Franky was later heavily involved in the Phone Card scam that a number of the Crime Families took part in the 1990's. He worked with D'Amico and Joe Watts in the phone card business and that is where he made his name as an earner.
The phone card scam was pretty easy. I worked with a company that used to take part in the scam with the Colombos and the Luchese Family. They set up a company funded with capital and then bought time from companies like Sprint, say a million dollars worth. We would have these cool looking cards printed up and they would be sold in bodegas all over New York. The scam? Some of the cards did not have the right amount of time on them, say you bought a 90 min card, and it actually had 45 or less minutes on it. The company I worked with basically ran a Ponzi. They used money coming in to pay overdue balances owed to Sprint, but kept getting time and before they knew it the company owed 4 million. When cell phones killed the phone card and phone booth business, the companies figured out that they could buy bandwidth and time and then wholesale it to huge companies and nations for long distance. It was a huge money maker and it makes me wonder why those I worked with are still free....... Those out on the street need to look at their buddies who got money from these companies and have never had to pay for it.
Franky Boy married into Mafia royalty when he took Rosaria Inzerillo, a former waitress at Nino's Restaurant in Brooklyn, as his bride. This week we have come full circle to where I started telling this trilogy. Rosaria is the sister of Pietro "Tall Pete" Inzerillo, the Gambino Capo and cousin to Tommy Gambino who gave Roger Clinton 50,000.
Franky is also related to John Gambino, the brother of Rosario and Sal and one time boss of the Gambino Family. The 50,000 dollars that went to Roger Clinton came from John's concrete company G&G Concrete. John would later move into his former partner in G&G’s home on Staten Island.
Franky Boy has attained a lot of power by being the driving force behind the alliance between Sicilian Mafia and the Gambinos. He helped forge a deal that would let the Inzerillos head back to their homes in Palermo after having been outcasts in America since they fled the second Mafia war. Today many have moved back to the Passo di Rigano area of Palermo, the first being Francesco Inzerillo the son of Tall Pete and no less than 5 other made men.
Now we see the Gambinos working with the Sicilian Mafia and the ‘Ndrangheta to put together massive shipments of drugs. There was a Mafia Summit in Toronto Canada in January of 2004 where men flew from Palermo to Toronto and others came from the US. They met at Peppino's restaurant and later were together for 9 hours.
The Gambino Family today is looking a lot like the Bonanno Family of the past with a group of Zips or Sicilians taking power. Franky Boy was arrested a few years ago with Lenny DiMaria and others in an old fashion Mob Extorting of a trucking company, but is now free after serving his time.
The Sicilians have control of at least 4 Mafia families in the US. How long will the home grown American Mafioso take orders from them? That only time will tell.
Franky Boy will continue to gain power while running his wholesale fruit and construction companies.