Joe Bruno on the Mob – Frank DiMattina Found Guilty of Extortion.

I must admit, I was a little surprised at the guilty verdict. But whenever anyone’s name is associated with the Mafia, however superficially, they have the cards stacked against them in court.

I’m not saying Frank DiMattina is innocent of the charges he threatened Walter Bowers, that if Bowers didn’t withdraw his catering bid for lunches for the St. Joseph By The Sea School in Staten Island, bad things would happen to Bowers. What I am saying, that from all I could read about the case, the only evidence they had against DiMattina was Bowers’ word himself, and the testimony of a priest, Rev. Michael Reilly, who was handling the school lunch bid.

Father Reilly said on the stand concerning Bowers, “When he withdrew his bid, he was fearful, very fearful. He said, ‘I got a visit.’”

Did Father Reilly personally witness the extortion? No. So Father Reilly’s testimony was 100% hearsay evidence. Bowers told him, “I got a visit.” So how was that enough evidence to convict DiMattina?

The most damning testimony in court against DiMattina was the statement from the prosecution which said, “A confidential source told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Mr. DiMattina is an associate of the Genovese crime family.”

That’s all I needed to know to understand why DiMattina was convicted with such flimsy evidence. “A confidential source said……” In other words, a rat informer who might be edging for a way to get a reduced sentence told Team America something they love to hear: that someone is connected to the Mafia.

I don’t know if DiMattina was guilty of extortion or not. I don’t know if DiMattina is an associate of the Colombo crime family or not. I do know that in America everyone, even an alleged Mafia associate, deserves the benefit of a doubt in court. There must be proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” to convict someone. Hard evidence always trumps hearsay.

I guess the rules change dramatically when the word “Mafia” is injected into the situation.

You can view the article below at:

Caterer Tied to the Mob Is Convicted


Published: January 6, 2012

Frank DiMattina, a suspected Genovese family associate who had dreams of reality television stardom, was convicted Friday of extortion and a related firearms charge.

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Mr. DiMattina, 44, who formerly owned one of Staten Island’s most popular catering halls and wanted to make a show about his life there, was found guilty of forcing a rival caterer to withdraw his bid on a lucrative contract for a school lunch program, for which Mr. DiMattina had also bid.

The jury deliberated for a day after a three-day trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

The rival caterer, Walter Bowers, a Staten Island man who bought Ariana’s Catering Hall from Mr. DiMattina in March 2010, testified that Mr. DiMattina displayed a gun to him and threatened to have another man beat him if Mr. Bowers did not withdraw the bid.

Jack Dennehy, the prosecutor, also presented testimony from a priest, the Rev. Michael Reilly, who was overseeing the bid process for the school, St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School on Staten Island.

When he withdrew his bid, he was fearful, very fearful,” Father Reilly said of Mr. Bowers. “He said, ‘I got a visit.’ ”

According to court papers, a confidential source told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Mr. DiMattina is an associate of the Genovese crime family.

Mr. DiMattina, who still cooks and caters, had hoped to star in a show about his life, which he called “Banquet Boyz.” He produced slick promotional videos for the show and posted them on YouTube. A promo for his “hip new reality show” still is online at

Mr. DiMattina faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. But for now he is free to cook another day. In an unusual move in a case involving a violent offense, the presiding judge in the trial, Jack B. Weinstein, granted Mr. DiMattina bail before his sentencing.

You better use this time to transfer the business, because I am not going to postpone sentencing,” Judge Weinstein said.


9 Responses to “Joe Bruno on the Mob – Frank DiMattina Found Guilty of Extortion.”

  1. jessica centamore Says:

    I don’t know who you are or why you chose to comment on this case, but you are absolutely right and I don’t understand why he was found guilty. I am furious at this judicial system and what they are doing to him and his family because I know what I believe to be the truth, and hearsay from a priest is not it! I can think of a handful of reasons why they are pursuing so hard and he’s gonna fight til he can’t fight no more because it’s pure BS. Thanks for writing and allowing me to see there are others out there who feel the same as I do.

    • Writing about crime is what I do for a living. I have several books on the subject. But this case spounded fishy to me. Every time prosecutors try to link organized crime to a case, it puts the defendant at an extreme disadvantage. And organized crime cases, especialy involving people who they try to link to the Mafia, advances the careers of both the police officers involved, and the prosecutors. Rudy Giuliani made a career going after the mob. So, although I hate to claim prejudice against Italian-Americans, it happens all too often. I think it might have happened in this case.

      • jessica centamore Says:

        I don’t know why I didn’t think about the advancement aspect of it. But, yeah, makes sense. It’s just so frustrating when you know something is so wrong and the legal system gets away with it because they are the “legal system.” My personal opinion is that the FBI is more criminal than some of those who are in our jails right now. I can’t even begin to tell you how I think they got away with what they did in this case. At first I thought it was my vivid imagination, but now, knowing what I know about the case, I think I am right.

  2. Jessica, The FBI has a long history of corruption, going back to Hoover. Read about how Hoover denied there was a Mafia, because Frank Costello was giving him tips on fixed horse races.

    Read about John Connelly from Boston who’s in jail for life for helping Whitey Bulger.

    These things happen.

    BTW. Most FBI agents are good law enforcement agents. The bad ones stick out.

    • jessica centamore Says:

      Yes, I agree; no agency is completely corrupt. And the bad ones who do stick out make it look really bad for what groups they are associated with as a whole. So, I guess I have some legal and criminal history reading to catch up on…
      Someday you might see my name on the cover of a book having written about this particular story. You may have just inspired another writer! Nice chatting and thanks!

  3. jessica centamore Says:


  4. eliza gabai Says:

    Do you happen to have the name of the lawsuit that took place? Or the case citation? I am googling it but can’t find anything on it…

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