Topics Discussed: Raised in the Mafia, Early exposure to violence, A father behind bars, The five families, Lucky Luciano, Racketeers and gangsters, The infamous gas-tax scheme, Keeping cool under intense pressure, When your father is the mob, Sonny Franzese, A dangerous meeting, Why we romanticize criminality, Responsibility and change, When Family Breaks, Turning points, Miami Gold Films, Love, the mafia, and God, 29 months of solitary confinement, Divine intervention, Christ and loyalty, The need for a new mindset, Showing change through action, Illegal versus immoral , White lies, living in truth.
Michael Franzese is an American former mobster once affiliated with the Colombo crime family. Most notable for his gas-tax scheme from the mid 80’s, it is estimated that Franzese at one point was personally making eight million dollars a week. At his height Franzese had achieved the rank of Caporegime, or the equivalent of a captain or general within the mob ranks, and was nicknamed the “Yuppie Don” as well as the “Prince of the Mob,” by his contemporaries. In 1986, Franzese was sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy charges, and despite being released early, spent the next decade in and out of jail. In 1994 he was finally released, chose to retire from crime, and bought an estate in Florida. Since then he has traveled the world as a public speaker, and has written many books about his life and crimes, such as 1992’s Quitting the Mob, or his most recent 2022 publication, Mafia Democracy.