Michael Franzese grew up within New York’s Colombo crime family as the son of an underboss. He rose through the ranks to caporegime by inventing numerous lucrative scams that defrauded federal governments of fuel taxes during the 1980s.
After spending decades as part of a criminal enterprise, this motivational speaker emerged victorious from years of grand jury appearances, major racketeering charges, and five criminal trials before finally leaving it all behind and leaving no trace. Today he uses his experiences to motivate others as a popular motivational speaker.
Early Life and Education
Michael Franzese was raised within the world of organized crime as the son of an influential underboss for New York’s Colombo family, earning himself one of its top earning positions – making 5-8 million per week from illegal ventures that included extortion, racketeering, gambling operations and even schemes to defraud gasoline taxes.
Franzese may not have intended to become involved with the mafia, yet found himself drawn into its web. His story provides teachers with exciting opportunities to explore themes like crime, family dynamics, transformation and personal choice.
Franzese has made headlines through his life story by being featured on both History Channel and National Geographic; additionally, his biweekly YouTube show draws five million monthly views.
Franzese made millions as the son of two crime families operating out of New York’s Colombo crime family: mobster father Vito Franzese and capo of New York’s Colombo crime family; with both of his scams targeting bankers, corporations, union officials and professional and student athletes all over. Countless grand jury appearances, major racketeering indictments and criminal trials went by without him being charged – yet Franzese survived all.
Franzese is also a sought-after public speaker, regularly giving lectures to student-athletes and corporate executives about gambling and sports gambling issues, speaking about his Mob experiences for Christian outreach ministries as well as speaking engagements pertaining to college athletes as well as giving interviews for television and radio shows. Furthermore, he is author of various books such as Blood Covenant.
Michael Franzese brings real stories from his mafia days to Fear City: New York vs the Mafia. A popular speaker, he has appeared on multiple TV programs as a guest.
Achievement and Honors
Michael Franzese quickly advanced through the Colombo crime family ranks to caporegime status and was recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the greatest mob bosses ever. Joseph Bono played him in Goodfellas. Franzese was known for having one of the smartest business minds ever; with it came dance circles around his mafia colleagues while talking himself out of certain death. Whatever touched by Franzese turned into money.
After leaving the mob world, Franzese quickly transformed himself into an accomplished entrepreneur, actor, mentor, motivational speaker and motivational speaker. He even started a wine business, producing three wines so far including a malbec, white and fortified port-style wine. Franzese credits faith and accountability from loved ones with helping to turn around his life and get back on track.
Michael Franzese is an esteemed motivational speaker who lectures regularly at conferences, churches, prisons and universities as well as offering coaching and mentoring services. Additionally he appears in films related to mafia-related films/TV shows as well as providing services.
At his time as capo of New York’s Colombo crime family, he helped them amass billions through illegal rackets such as smuggling and drug trafficking. Additionally, he masterminded one of the largest schemes ever seen in mob history – stealing gas station taxes – yielding millions per week to him as his commission.
Franzese eventually gave up organized crime and has dedicated much of his time speaking out against it through numerous high-profile media channels such as the 700 Club, Fox News and 48 Hours. His journey is truly inspirational to audiences everywhere and has attracted worldwide recognition.
Michael Franzese currently boasts an estimated net worth of $1 Million, having been born May 27 1951 in Brooklyn, New York to parents who were crime lords themselves and thus inspiring him to follow their example as criminals, engaging in such illegal activities as extortion, racketeering and terrorism among others.
At one time he was deeply involved in the Colombo family’s gasoline tax racket and considered one of their top mobster. Later he decided to leave this world behind and become a motivational speaker; making his money through book sales and public speaking engagements.
Franzese has an inspiring life story and has managed to transform his circumstances for the better. Using his experiences and expertise, he uses them as motivation for others looking to change their own lives for the better. He has appeared on TV programs as well as YouTube channels.