The Sopranos Was Fiction, This Is a True Mob Story: Michael Franzese

by Tom Lavecchia
Michael Franzese Atlantic City

Former “made man” and Capo for New York’s Colombo crime family, Michael Franzese, will be appearing at Caesars Hotel & Casino on Saturday, September 23. His true-life story has been airs on the History Channel and National Geographic, and his bi-weekly YouTube show “Sitdown with Michael Franzese” gets over five million monthly views. Serious mafia TV/Film enthusiasts consider him the “Dr. Phil” of organized crime. 

The son of  former underboss John “Sonny” Franzese, Michael initially joined a pre-med curriculum at Hofstra University. However, he abandoned his studies to financially support his family when Sonny received a 50-year prison sentence in 1967. In the early 1980s, Michael devised a plan to deceitfully divert federal gasoline taxes. During the peak of his endeavors, he was individually netting one million dollars every week. He gained notoriety as “The Mob’s youthful prodigy,” a title bestowed upon him by Life Magazine.

In 1986, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on conspiracy charges, where he became a born-again Christian. He was released in 1994. For the last 25 years, he has been speaking at Christian churches for their outreach ministries, lecturing on the importance of morality in everyday life. 

For 2023, Michael’s speaking events are in cities that have an extensive and significant mob/mafia history, with Atlantic City and Philadelphia at the top of that list. He will be speaking for 70 minutes, revealing what life was truly like living and working with La Cosa Nostra. He ends each show with a Q&A, encouraging audience members to ask hard-hitting questions. Of course, there are things he won’t answer—Franzese has no issue pleading the fifth. 

There will be a VIP meet and greet with Michael backstage following the show, which includes speaking with him, pictures and an autographed copy of his newest book, “Mafia Democracy.” Tickets go fast, so if you’re fascinated by the complicated history of the Italian Mafia, now is the time to purchase tickets. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

About the Author/s

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Tom is a lifelong New Jersey resident, Rutgers and FDU alumni and the publisher of The Digest.

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