Matthew Ianniello
Born (1920-06-18)June 18, 1920
Little Italy, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Died August 15, 2012(2012-08-15) (aged 92)[1]
Old Westbury, New York, U.S.[2]

Matthew Joseph "Matty the Horse" Ianniello (June 18, 1920 – August 15, 2012) was a New York mobster with the Genovese crime family who was once the acting boss of the Genovese Crime Family. During the 1960's and 70's, Ianniello controlled the lucrative adult entertainment business that were then centered in the Times Square section of Manhattan.[3]

Young years[edit | edit source]

Matthew Ianniello was born in 1920 in Little Italy, Manhattan.[4] He grew up in the Italian neighborhoods of New York.

Ianniello was married to Beatrice May and the couple had four children.[3]

Ianiello allegedly got his nickname “Matty The Horse” in a youth baseball game. Ianiello was a gifted player with a hard swing. During one game, things got out of control. The opposing pitcher threw a hard pitch into the face of the batter. A fight erupted in which Ianiello knocked down the pitcher, who was older and taller than him. After this episode, someone remarked : “That boy is as strong as a horse.”

In 1940, Ianniello started working for his uncle as a waiter in a restaurant in the Brooklyn dockyards. In 1942 or 1943, Ianniello enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in World War II. In 1945 Ianiello returned home as a decorated war veteran, having received a purple heart and a bronze star. He went back to work at his uncle's restaurant and by 1949 became partners with his uncle in a second restaurant, Matty's Towncrest Restaurant.[4]

In 1951, Ianniello was arrested on charges of possessing heroin[3] , but the charges were dropped.

In 1960, Ianniello became partners with Edward L. DeCurtis, a longtime associate, in running private afterhours drinking clubs for gay men.[4] Ianniello would eventually own a strings of clubs and nightclubs for both gay and straight men, including the Gilded Grape and the Hay Market.[3]

Genovese family[edit | edit source]

In the 1960s, Ianniello joined the Genovese crime family, then run by imprisoned boss Vito Genovese. Ianniello's sponsor was mobster and future acting boss Frank Tieri.[4]

Ianniello eventually controlled International Brotherhood of Teamsters bus drivers Local 1181, giving him the power to extort payments from school bus companies in New York as well as the union driver.[5]

On February 2, 1965, Ianniello was indicted on contempt of grand jury charges for refusal to testify. However, the charges were dismissed in 1966.[6]

At the beginning of the 1970s Ianniello, now promoted to caporegime. By now, Ianniello controlled over 80 restaurants and sex-oriented clubs in New York, including most of those located in the Times Square area of Manhattan.[7] Officially he still had a respectable job with the union.

In 1972, Colombo crime family rebel Joey Gallo was murdered at Umberto's, a restaurant in Little Italy that was secretly owned by Ianniello. On April 7, 1972, early in morning, Gallo and his party arrived at Umberto's for a late night snack. When he arrived, Gallo greeted Ianniello. A Colombo associate sitting at the bar saw Gallo and immediately left to notify his superiors. Soon afterwards, three armed Colombo associates stormed into the restaurant and shot and killed Gallo.[8] Ianniello was in the kitchen at the time and missed the entire attack. Ianniello later claimed no prior knowledge of the attack and was not charged in relation to it.

Indictments[edit | edit source]

On February 28, 1985, Ianniello was indicted in federal court in New York on charges of racketeering charges involving the operation of several restaurants, bars and carting companies.[9] Using a wiretap on Ianniello's office, agents assembled proof that he was skimming profits from several establishments that he secretly owned. On December 30, 1985, Ianniello was convicted numerous counts.[10] On February 16, 1986, Ianniello was sentenced to six years in federal prison on the 1985 charges.[11]

On May 13, 1986, Ianniello was acquitted on all charges in the 1986 indictment on racketeering in the garbage industry.[12] On May 17, 1986, Ianiello was indicted in federal court in New York on new charges of labor racketeering, construction bid-rigging, extortion, gambling and murder conspiracies.[13]

On May 18, 1988, Ianniello was indicted again in Newark, New Jersey on racketeering charges involving the 1984 Genovese takeover of a gravel company in Edgewater, New Jersey.[14] On October 13, 1988, Ianniello was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison after being convicted of the 1986 bid rigging racketeering charges.[15]

Acting Boss[edit | edit source]

In 1995, Ianniello was released from prison. When Genovese boss Vincent Gigante went to prison, Ianniello became acting boss. By 1998, Ianiello was deeply involved in Teamsters Union Local 1181, a bus drivers union.[16] Through the union, Ianiello forced a medical center to pay $100,000 to renew their lease and then make regular cash payments in order to keep it.[17] Between 2001 and 2005, protection fees on Connecticut garbage businesses earned Ianniello more than $800,000.

On July 27, 2005, Ianniello was indicted on racketeering charges in New York involving extortion and loansharking. Agents arresting Ianniello at his home reported that he was watching the film The Godfather III.[18][19] On June 10, 2006, Ianiello was indicted in federal court in New Haven on charges of racketeering involving trash hauling in Southwestern Connecticut.[20] In 2006, Ianniello pleaded guilty to the New York racketeering charges and received an 18 month prison sentence.[21] The same year, he pleaded guilty in Connecticut to two racketeering charges for extorting the trash hauling industry and was sentenced to two years in federal prison to run concurrent with the 18 month New York sentence.[22] Ianniello attorney had ask for leniency, saying Ianniello had cancer and was in general poor health.[21]

Later life[edit | edit source]

On April 3, 2009, Ianniello was released from the Federal Medical Center (FMC) for prisoners in Butner, North Carolina.[23] On August 15, 2012, Ianniello died at his Long Island home in Old Westbury, New York of health problems related to heart ailments and other illnesses, including prostate cancer.[24]

References[edit | edit source]

  2. [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Vitello, Paul (August 24, 2012). "Matthew Ianniello, 92, Former Mafia Boss". New York Times. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Collins, R. Thomas (2002). Newswalker: A Story for Sweeney. RavensYard Publishing, Ltd. pp. 120. ISBN 978-1-928928-03-4. 
  5. Jacobs, James B.; Cooperman, Kerry T.. Breaking the devil's pact the battle to free the Teamsters from the mob. New York: New York University Press. pp. 13. ISBN 0-8147-4366-8. 
  6. Gage, Nicholas (September 25, 1972). "Study Shows Courts Lenient With Mafiosi". New YOrk Times. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  7. Collins. pp. 126. 
  8. Gage, Nicholas (May 3, 1972). "Story of Joe Gallo's Murder". New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  9. Lubasch, Arnold H (March 1, 1985). "REPUTED CRIME BOSSES ARRAIGNED". New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  10. Lubasch, Arnold H (December 31, 1985). "9 OF 10 FOUND GUILTY IN SKIMMING TRIAL". New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  11. "Ianniello Is Sentenced In Racketeering Trial". New York Times. February 16, 1986. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  12. Saxon, Wolfgang (May 14, 1986). [However, on May 13, 1986, Ianniello was acquitted on all charges in the 1986 indictment. "SIX DEFENDANTS ARE ACQUITTED IN A MOB TRIAL"]. New York Times. However, on May 13, 1986, Ianniello was acquitted on all charges in the 1986 indictment.. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  13. "U.S. Attorney Reports Indictment of Ianniello". New York Times. May 16, 1986. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  14. Uhlig, Mark A (May 19, 1988). "8 Reputed Members Of Genovese Family Indicted by U.S. Jury". Neew York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  15. "Salerno, Now Serving 100 Years, Gets 70 More in Bid-Rigging Case". New York Times. October 14, 1988. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  16. "Two Accused of Extorting Bus Companies" By Paul von Zielbauer New York Times June 3, 2009
  17. Hays, Tom (July 29, 2005). "Authorities crack down on New York's Genovese crime family, with 20 arrests". North County Times. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  18. Rashbaum, William K (July 29, 2005). "Metro Briefing | New York: Manhattan: Reputed Mob Family Boss Indicted". New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  19. "Reputed Genovese family members indicted" Marissa Muller CNN July 28, 2005;
  20. "Mob Figures Are Charged With Controlling Trash Hauling in Connecticut". New York Times. June 10, 2006. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Rubinsky, Cara (May 9, 2007). "Reputed Mob Boss Sentenced in Trash Case". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  22. McShane 2007
  23. Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  24. Destefano, Anthony M. (August 19, 2012). "LI mobster Matthew 'Matty the Horse' Ianniello dies at 92". News Day. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Kelly, Robert J. Encyclopedia of Organized Crime in the United States. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2000. ISBN 0-313-30653-2
  • McShane, Larry (2007-03-04). "Matty "The Horse" on His Last Ride". AP, Wii News Channel. 
Business positions
Preceded by
Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo
Genovese crime family
Acting boss

Succeeded by
Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo
as acting boss

Template:Genovese crime familyTemplate:American Mafia

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