Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo (born January 16, 1941; Rockleigh, New Jersey) is the currently acting boss of the Genovese crime family, the biggest of New York's Five Families.
Early life and career
Leo was once a member of the notorious East Harlem Purple Gang in the 1970s and he was also known as "Daniel Leonetti" and "Daniel Leonardo" (the Federal Bureau of Prisons has his name as "Danny Leo").
Rise in the Genovese crime family
Before his imprisonment, Leo lived in a luxurious manor in Rockleigh, New Jersey and was a suspected drug trafficker during his earlier years as a lower soldier in the Genovese crime family. He was once the president at a company called Elite Ready Mix. Allegedly promoted to captain under the regime of Vincent Gigante in the late 1980s or early 1990s, establishing a high position in the family with Gigante's top associates Dominick Cirillo, James Ida and Louis Manna. After living a very low-profile life as a faction-leader in New Jersey.
In 2005, Leo became the acting boss of the Genovese crime family.
Indictment and prison
In May 2007, Leo was one of many Genovese crime family members indicted on federal loansharking and extortion charges. In early 2008, Leo pleaded guilty to racketeering and loansharking. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison. His projected release date was October 7, 2011, but on January 10, 2010, he pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and faced up to 40 years in prison. In March 2010, he was sentenced to an additional 18 months in prison and fined $1.3 million. Whether he still maintains the position of boss/acting boss while in prison remains unknown, because there are other candidates who are out of prison such as former street boss and Manhattan faction leader Liborio Bellomo. Leo was serving his time at the low security facility at Federal Correctional Complex, Coleman in Florida, but has since been released into community corrections in Miami. He was released from prison on January 25, 2013.