Batter up!…Rat Round 93!…Fraud and Pilfering by Another Top Government “Cooperator”…

…All coming to you courtesy of your local FBI office – the so-called “protectors” of the public!

And this time their “Rat” and prize “Stool Pigeon” is embarrassingly charged with defrauding many of our innocent public for multi-millions of dollars, all the while being coddled by prosecutors and agents who drooled over the prospect of using him so they could get a few more “notches” on their “belt” of convictions, so as to elevate their careers and fortunes! (Because this is NOT about protecting the public from so-called mob guys. If it were, bums like Gioia and others would never get “deals” like these to begin with).

Frank Gioia, Jr., a former reputed (and self-confessed) “soldier” in the Lucchese Family of New York was a vicious and violent individual. It was confirmed by the FBI, (and admitted by Gioia himself) that during his years on the streets of New York City he was a prolific heroin trafficker, and a violent, vicious criminal who admitted committing murder and planning others.

He terrorized, beat and seriously “hurt” more than a few innocent victims while he moved kilo’s of “junk”, both locally and interstate to other cities such as the New England area for years.

Once arrested and jailed, he, as well as a cousin of his, another violent and foul mouthed hoodlum named Vincent (Vinny Baldy) Salanardi both quickly “flipped” to join the “G”….They become government “cooperators”, as the FBI so gently and innocuously likes to call them.

His activities in extensive heroin dealing (among the most deadly of drugs known to mankind), beatings, baseball-bat attacks, shootings and the like, were all quickly swept under the rug so that they could both be “Queens for a day” as the saying goes. The FBI cutting them both the most lenient of “deals” for their testimony. Basically providing them with a “free – get out of jail card” so as to put others in jail, allowing them to escape their pasts.

Salanardi soon proved to be a less than stellar witness. Caught in lies, deceit and continuing criminal conduct (loansharking, threats and extortion), he was quickly dropped from this FBI-Rat marriage that’s become so “en vogue” in recent years.
But Gioia went on to testify in many key mob cases, with generally good results for the prosecution. He was soon given a new identity, background, startup money (besides large amounts of our taxpayer dollars as subsistence income for years while he testified) and then relocated to Arizona so he could start anew.

“Frank Capri” was the new name the government gave him. Complete with a new phony birth certificate, social security card, drivers license, credit cards, and other needed background papers. All to fool the public. And of course Arizonans, as well as many other innocent people he came into contact with were fooled, such as banks, loan officers, insurance providers, store owners, credit companies, innocent men women and children, potential girlfriends, etc., had no idea who this man was, or what he was about or what he was capable of…. until it was too late.

….. well, fast forward a few short years and we now have the results of the government’s wonderful deal.

THIS is what happens when your government coddles unscrupulous criminals and makes deals with the “devil”!

Does the end justify the means? After reading this article, you tell me!….. I think not!!

Side Note: Many of these “cooperators” (not all, but many)…. I prefer to call them what they really are: spineless Rats, Benedict Arnolds, Stool Pigeons, Backstabbers, and straight out degenerates, often buy their freedom by providing so-called evidence and testimony against guys engaged in much less serious criminal activity than the informants themselves. Perfect examples would be admitted professional killers and major narcotics dealers testifying against the likes of bookmakers, gamblers, shylocks, fraudsters, etc.

But because the defendants have “vowels” at the end of their names, and prosecutors and the FBI get front page headlines by arresting so-called Mafia guys (Italians), it’s allowed and actually very much encouraged. And the newspapers go along with it all, because again, it sells newspapers! (Making them money).

The public would much rather read about a half-dozen alleged Italian“mafia” bookmakers with colorful nicknames, and a gambling ring being smashed by police, than the arrests of 50 or 100 no-name Hispanics, Blacks or Russians being nabbed with 100 kilos of deadly heroin worth millions taken off the streets…. Why? …. because it’s “sexy” to read about the Mafia.
The Italian Mafia mystique captivates the public’s eye! … always has, and always will!

Whether there’s truth to it or not is of little consequence. What’s important are the headlines that it will surely generate. Thereby insuring newspaper sales, and promotions within the police department and FBI for those wonderful “crime busters” who protect us, the innocent public, from all those dangerous 60 or 75-year old Italian bookies and guys who lend money at a bit higher interest rate than the government stipulates is allowed by “current” law.

Let’s not worry about any foreign terrorists who would love to blow up more of our landmark buildings like the World Trade Center and kill thousands more American citizens. Or the vicious foreign street gangs like MS-13 who are invading our neighborhoods, literally chopping off the heads of innocent boys and girls with machetes and robbing innocent civilians, or gangbangers like the Bloods and Crips who have turned neighborhood streets all over America into shooting galleries, killing one another (and innocent people) while selling packets of white “death”.

No, of course not! Just make sure you arrest “Joe the bookmaker” in the corner candy store who takes a sports-bet or runs a friendly little neighborhood card game. THAT’S what counts!

And if their Italian surname (many of whom had fought to the death for this country in every World War since the first) is dragged through the mud and ruined? No big deal!

What a bad joke!!! 



Full Article – Arizona Republic

Ex-mobster behind collapse of Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts restaurant chains indicted on fraud charges

Reprinted from ROBERT ANGLEN | ARIZONA REPUBLIC – February 6, 2019

A former Mafia soldier in Arizona who orchestrated the nationwide collapse of two star-powered country restaurant chains has been indicted on federal fraud charges.

Frank Capri, who was behind the financial failure of Toby Keith and Rascal Flatts-branded restaurants from Hawaii to Florida, was arrested Wednesday.

The Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Capri, 52, his mother, Debbie Corvo, 68, and an unnamed third person were indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 28 on 16 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Capri is the focus of an ongoing investigation by The Arizona Republic that began in 2015. The Republic exposed Capri as an ex-mobster who was given a new identity through the Federal Witness Protection Program and used it to bilk developers out of millions of dollars.

Capri, whose real name is Frank Gioia Jr., was a former soldier in New York’s notorious Lucchese crime family. He flipped to become a government witness in the 1990s. He moved to Arizona in the early 2000s, where he made a name for himself as a real estate and restaurant developer. 

Capri could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. 

Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts eatery failures

The Republic documented how Capri’s restaurant career was built on failures. He is known for the epic collapse of a nationwide chain of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill restaurants, which went under in 2015 amid allegations of fraud and theft. 

Capri or his companies negotiated deals to build Toby Keith restaurants with mall owners and developers throughout the United States, then took tens of millions of dollars meant to pay for construction and walked away, The Republic reported.

Capri’s company, Boomtown Entertainment, built 20 Toby Keith restaurants beginning in 2009 and announced plans to build 20 more that never opened. It closed 19 restaurants in about 18 months. Even as restaurants went under, Capri was announcing plans to open new ones that never got built.

By 2017, judges in cities across the country ordered him or his companies to pay at least $65 million in civil judgments. It is unclear how many judgments were paid or settled.

Capri’s mother, Corvo, was involved in Boomtown.

A 2007 report prepared by private investigators in a Maricopa County case documented Capri’s entry into the Federal Witness Protection Program along with his father, mother, sister and brother-in-law.

Capri also was behind the financial ruin of 19 Rascal Flatts restaurant projects. Capri’s name does not appear on corporate documents tied to the Rascal Flatts restaurants. But working from behind the scenes, he oversaw hiring, firing, employee payments, permits, construction schedules and collection of development fees, The Republic found.

The restaurants were operated by Tawny Costa, Capri’s longtime girlfriend and the mother of two of his children.

Girlfriend admits fronting businesses

Costa admitted in March to serving as Capri’s front for the Rascal Flatts projects.

In a series of texts to The Republic, Costa said Capri and a business partner set up and secretly ran Rascal Flatts restaurant projects in her name. She said Capri manipulated her into putting her name on corporation and business records for restaurants.

Costa was one of two managers listed on corporation filings for RF Restaurants, the Las Vegas-based company that owned and operated the restaurant projects. 

Secretly recorded audiotapes of Capri’s phone calls provided a vivid picture of his role. In the profanity-laced recordings obtained by The Republic, Capri threatens and intimidates developers in an attempt to squeeze cash out of the Rascal Flatts projects.

Money meant to pay for construction went directly to Capri and Costa, the audiotapes, text messages and interviews showed.

Developers paid millions to lure RF Restaurants to malls. They offered up-front cash to offset construction costs in exchange for signing long-term leases. They got vacant buildings, incomplete projects and lawsuits. 

Only one Rascal Flatts restaurant, in Stamford, Connecticut, opened in 2017. It closed a year later. 

Developers in Stamford accused RF Restaurants of failing to pay more than $1.1 million in rent. Lawsuits followed the shutdown of RF Restaurants’ projects in Pittsburgh, Gainesville, Florida, and Hollywood, California. 

Projects in other cities fell behind schedule and collapsed.

Between them, Capri and Costa have orchestrated the failure of 63 restaurant projects since 2013 that either closed after opening, were left unfinished or never started; 39 under Capri and 24 under Costa’s name, according to a Republic tally.

Their business strategy appeared to evolve in 2019 from nationwide chains of celebrity-themed eateries to individual restaurants and bars. The Republic in December documented Costa’s plans for a new restaurant in the Arcadia area of Phoenix.

Mafia turncoat to businessman

Gioia was a third-generation mobster. Mafia historians call him one of the most important government witnesses ever to testify against the mob.

The Republic in 2017 documented Gioia’s transition to Capri, from gangster to witness to businessman.

His cooperation with law enforcement led to the conviction of more than 70 Mafia figures in the 1990s and 2000s. He helped clear several unsolved murders, including the shooting of an off-duty police officer.

Gioia became a “made man” in 1991 and has testified about his past as a murderer, drug dealer, gun runner, arsonist, loan shark, stickup artist and enforcer.

Gioia was arrested in 1993 on federal drug charges. He was facing 30 years to life in prison when he got word the mob was plotting to kill his father. He contacted the FBI, told agents he was willing to talk and signed a deal to cooperate with the government.

Capri maintains stories about his past are “false and defamatory” but has offered no proof to support his claims. In a 2017 letter, he denied pocketing development money and described the Toby Keith closures as nothing “other than the product of a business failure.”

Feds mum on mob ties 

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice for years have declined to answer questions about Capri or the trail of financial destruction that followed him out of the Witness Protection Program. 

But the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2019 launched a criminal case against Capri’s former lawyer at Boomtown. 

Gregory McClure took a plea deal after being indicted on charges he stole $1.3 million from the company.

As part of a cooperative agreement, McClure was charged with a single count of money laundering, and authorities agreed not to prosecute him for any other offenses related to Boomtown.

His sentencing date was repeatedly pushed back last year and is now scheduled for sometime in March, court documents show. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not name McClure or Costa in its announcement on Wednesday.

A copy of the indictment was not immediately available.

Capri’s trial is currently scheduled for April 7.

Additional Reading

From the Arizona Republic – October 31, 2017:

A Mafia enforcer’s evolution to master manipulator in nationwide restaurant failures

From the New York Daily News – November 22, 1998 (click the download button or the link below to read the .pdf. Download will download to your computer. Link will open new page.):

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