Mafia Wiki
Mafia Wiki

Frank Gioia, Jr.

Frank Gioia, Jr. (born August 10, 1967) is a former Lucchese crime family soldier who is currently in witness protection along with his father former soldier Frank Gioia Sr. He goes by the nicknames “Baby Face” and “Spaghetti Man.”

Frank Gioia Jr. was born in New York’s Little Italy to Frank and Mildred Gioia in August 1967. Some reports indicate he is born in 1965. By the time he was 12, Gioia was determined to become a wiseguy and was loan-sharking, bookmaking, stealing cars and committing stickups.

Gioia first shot somebody in 1985, aged 18. The victim was a club bouncer who had disrespected a Mafia associate. Gioia shot the man in the leg, then put the gun in the bouncer’s mouth and threatened him. Over the next five years or so, Gioia graduated from dealing marijuana to heroin and started selling guns wholesale. He initially tried to break into the Genovese crime family before a cousin introduced him to the Lucchese family.

Lucchese Crime Family

In 1991, Gioia Jr. was inducted into the Lucchese crime family in a ceremony held in Howard Beach, Queens. He was sponsored by George Conte, who was filling in for his real sponsor George Zappola.

In 1992 he helped Frank “Bones” Papagni to kill Frankie “The Blonde” Mariconda, a Lucchese soldier, for disrespecting Papagni's girlfriend in a bar, holding Mariconda down while "Frankie Bones" shot him in the face. Gioia was arrested in June on a gun charge while preparing to carry out a hit on another crime-family associate in Brooklyn. In 1993, Gioia Jr. along with George Zappola and Frank Papagni plotted to have Steven Crea killed.

In 1993, Gioia was arrested for trafficking heroin from Manhattan to Boston. The judge denied bail and Gioia was incarcerated while awaiting trial, facing anywhere from 10 years to life on the charges. Gioia’s fiancee, Kim Smith, gave birth to his son while he was in prison.

Turning Informant

By 1994, Gioia was in the Otisville Federal Correctional Institute when he got word the mob was planning to execute his father. He reached out to the FBI and agreed to turn state’s evidence in exchange for protection. He signed a cooperation agreement in April 1995 and entered the Federal Witness Protection Program with his father, mother, sister and brother-in-law. He confessed to his crimes and began supplying information to Feds which lead to many significant arrests.

In 1997 Gioia learned that his fiancee had accepted money from the mob to secretly record their phone conversations, at which point he admitted to the FBI that he had previously withheld information about crimes committed by Smith’s family. A violation of his agreement which could have gotten him kicked out of the Witness Protection Program. Later that year Gioia provided information about six unsolved murders committed by his fiancee’s brother and associates, including the unsolved killing of a New York City policeman. Gioia avoided life in prison and, based on his cooperation, was sentenced to 6.5 years with credit for time served.

In 1999 Gioia testified against Anthony Francesehi, who Gioia says once bragged about killing a New York City police officer in 1977. Francesehi was convicted of the slaying on September 31, 1999. Francesehi had killed Officer Ronald Stapleton in 1977 during a robbery outside a bar in Sheepshead Bay. Francesehi, whose real name is Manny Gonzalez, gouged out the cop’s eye with a meat hook before using the officer’s off-duty gun to shoot him. Stapleton lingered in and out of a coma for several weeks before dying in January 1978. The crime went unsolved for decades before Gioia fingered Francesehi, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars. His accomplice died of AIDS in 1997. Sources at the time said Francesehi was also the lead suspect in the murder of his lover, a pharmacist, in 1982. In return Gioia was released from prison and immediately relocated through the Witness Protection Program.

In 2001, Federal authorities, who have publicly stated that Gioia helped put away as many as 80 Mafia figures, tapped him to provide training seminars about organized crime for FBI agents. The following year Gioia, now using the surname Capri took up residence in Scottsdale, Arizona and launched a career as a real-estate developer under the name Capri Homes. Three years later Gioia returned to New York and testified in federal court against acting Lucchese boss Louis “Louie Bagels” Daidone, leading to Daidone being convicted on two counts of murder.

Business Career

In 2004 Capri bought a $500,000 home in Scottsdale and quickly followed with more purchases, leading Capri Homes to become known for buying and selling luxury properties in the Valley. In 2006, he negotiated with a Phoenix businessman who wanted to franchise his children's play center operation and opened indoor playgrounds in Mesa and Chandler.

In 2007, Capri signed a deal to build a Toby Keith’s "I Love This" Bar and Grill near the indoor playground at Mesa Riverview. As part of a custody dispute involving their two children, Capri’s Arizona girlfriend hired a private investigator who reveals Capri’s identity as Gioia. The custody case was later settled and a judge sealed portions of the case. Capri’s company Boomtown Entertainment LLC opened its first Toby Keith restaurant in Mesa in 2009. The following year however, his indoor playgrounds are shut down in Mesa and Chandler. Developers filed a $224,000 lawsuit claiming Capri and his company failed to pay rent, which was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount. In 2012 Gioia filed motions in Family Court in which his identity was once again called into question. His lawyer demanded that the court sealed the records and close proceedings to the public, stating that even if the allegations were true, Capri would have to lie about his identity under the rules of the Witness Protection Program.

A Dallas mall owner in 2013 obtained a $1.4 million judgment against Capri and his companies, claiming they failed to pay rent on the Toby Keith restaurant since it opened in 2012. The Dallas restaurant subsequently shut down, starting a chain of closures that occurred whilst Capri and his associates negotiated deals to build more restaurants. Within 18 months, Boomtown closed all but one of its Toby Keith restaurants amid allegations of fraud. Capri and his companies were accused in multiple lawsuits of failing to pay rent, stiffing contractors and walking off with money meant to pay for construction. Some within months of opening. By 2017 the tab just kept growing and he and his companies were ordered by judges to pay $65 million to plaintiffs, according to the latest material obtained from court documents and media accounts. Despite this however RF Restaurants opened its first Rascal Flatts restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut, in August 2018. Using others as fronts, Gioia now controls key aspects of the Rascal Flatts projects. The Stamford Rascal Flatts closed in August 2018 amid allegations that RF Restaurants failed to pay more than $1.1 million in rent and lawsuits followed the shutdown of RF Restaurants' projects in Gainesville, Pittsburgh and Hollywood, California. Boomtown's last remaining Toby Keith restaurant in Foxborough, Massachusetts closed abruptly in January 2019. Rascal Flatts pulled out of its licensing agreement with RF Restaurants, telling the Republic it was no longer doing business with Gioia. As of March 2019, he was still living in the Phoenix, Arizona area as Frank Capri.