Genovese crime family
The Genovese crime family, (pronounced [dʒenoˈveːze, -eːse]) also sometimes referred to as the Westside, is an Italian-American Mafia crime family and one of the "Five Families" that dominate organized crime activities in New York City and New Jersey as part of the American Mafia. They have generally maintained a varying degree of influence over many of the smaller mob families outside New York, including ties with the Philadelphia, Patriarca, and Buffalo crime families.
|Named after||Vito Genovese|
|Founding location||New York City, U.S.|
|Years active||c. 1890s–present|
|Territory||Primarily New York City, with additional territory in Upstate New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, South Florida, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.|
|Ethnicity||Italians as "made men" and other ethnicities as associates|
|Membership (est.)||250–300 made members and 1,000+ associates (2004)|
|Activities||Racketeering, murder, labor union infiltration, extortion, illegal gambling, drug trafficking, loansharking, bookmaking, truck hijacking, fraud, prostitution, pornography, bribery, and assault|
|Allies||Bonanno crime family|
Colombo crime family
Gambino crime family
Lucchese crime family
Bufalino crime family
Buffalo crime family
Cleveland crime family
DeCavalcante crime family
New Orleans crime family
Patriarca crime family
Philadelphia crime family
Pittsburgh crime family
|Rivals||Various gangs in New York City, including their allies|
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 as well as the docks and the Fulton Fish Market on the East River waterfront, 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.
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 U.S., 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 had only eleven members and associates turn state's evidence in its history.