Former mafia boss Michael Franzese, who at his peak generated an estimated $8 million per week through illicit business dealings, will be the keynote speaker at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, June 3.
The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Rio Hondo Event Center. Admission is $20.
A member of the Colombo crime family, Franzese made a fortune selling bootleg gasoline and other crime ventures. In 1986, at age 35, he was named by Vanity Fair one of the biggest money-earners the mob had seen since Al Capone.
Fortune Magazine listed him No. 18 on its list of the "Fifty Wealthiest and Powerful Mafia Bosses."
Not surprisingly, Franzese quickly became the target of Manhattan's famed federal prosecutor, Rudolph Guiliani. Facing 100 years behind bars after an indictment on federal racketerring charges, Franzese pleaded guilty to two counts, reducing his sentence to 10 years in prison and $14 million in restitution payments.
Franzese denounced the crime lifestyle while in prison and became a devout Christian. He remains the only person of his rank to ever walk away from the mob -- and live.