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Frank "Curly" Lino (born October 30, 1938) is a former capo in the Bonanno crime family who later became a Government witness, He is the cousin of Gambino crime family capo Edward Lino, Robert Lino Jr., and father of a successful New York City Wall Street stock broker Michael and Joseph Lino who became a made member of the Bonanno crime family.

Frank "Curly" Lino


Lino was born in a house on West Eight Street. The marriage of his mobster father Robert A. Lino Sr. and his mother was arranged by Genovese Crime Family patriarch and namesakeVito Genovese during the 1930s. Frank attended Lafayette High School but dropped out in tenth grade.

Edward & Frank Lino At Club In The 80's with their Partners Anna Lino (Middle Left) and Andrea Giovino (Middle Right)

He is the brother of Gambino crime family capo Robert A. Lino Jr. and paternal first cousin of Gambino crime family capo Edward Lino, cousin-in-law to Grace Ann Scala-Lino, the sister of Gambino crime family capo Salvatore Scala and father of Colombo crime family mob associate Robert X. Lino born August 30, 1966. Grace Ann Lino was a customer of Michael (Mikey Bear) Aiello. Frank was enraged over the incident and arranged for his murder, for which he arranged to witness, but was later botched. He is the father of two sons, one Joseph Lino born c. 1961 who became a made member of the Bonanno crime family and Michael Lino. He is an son-in-law to Genovese crime family mob associates Francis Consalvo and Carmine Consalvo and distant uncle to Louis Consalvo. Frank also is the godfather of Gambino crime family capo Frank Coppa's six children from his previous marriage. He is a first cousin of Bonanno crime family capo Robert Lino Sr. and a paternal uncle of Bonanno crime family capo Robert A. Lino Jr. born July 30, 1966. He is also the godfather to Michael Lino and Frank Coppa Jr. the son of Bonanno crime family capo and childhood friend Frank Coppa Sr.. He is a close friend of the New York Mets pitcher John Franco and avid baseball fan. Frank had dark brown hair, and had a round face with a ruddy complexion and later a bald head that "looked like a dirty tennis ball". He had a toothy smile and droopy eyes that were set too close together. Frank was a no-show school bus driver for the Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union and an employed by a mob-owned bus company Atlantic Express Transportation Corporation in located at 7 North Street in Port Richmond, Staten Island which is still in operation. He became a "made man" of the Bonanno crime family on October 30, 1977, on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy, Manhattan at his capo Alphonse Indelicato's apartment. It was also his fortieth birthday.

Blurry Frank Lino Mugshot

Members of Bonanno crime family in 1991 surveillance photo, including Frank Lino.

As he grew older Frank became more and more obese. Almost every male member of his family was involved in La Cosa Nostra. He gained a tremendous amount of weight and began to suffer from high blood pressure.

During his forty year career in organized crime he joined the Genovese crime family in 1956, switched to the Colombo crime family in 1962 and switched to the Gambino crime family in 1969 before in 1977 his friend Frank Coppa Sr. helped him join the Bonnano crime family. After dropping out of high school in the 1950s he joined a violent street gang called the "Avenue U Boys". As a member of the "Avenue U Boys" was involved in robberies. Lino first became associated with the La Cosa Nostra at the age of seventeen, and operated the local floating card games controlled by a Genovese crime family made soldier. He was a close business associate of Rosario Gangi.

Police brutality case

On May 18, 1962 he was arrested for the shootings of two Brooklyn police detectives, Luke J. Fallon and John Finnegan from the 70th Detective Squad. The detectives, aged twenty-eight and fifty-six, were shot dead during the holdup of a tobacco store, where Lino and the robbers netted $5,000. See [1] Lino was charged in the murders after he supplied a getaway vehicle for one of the stickup men so he could flee to Chicago, and was one of the five men charged after being taken to the 66th Precinct for an interrogation. During the interrogation Lino claimed the police drove staples into his hands and a broomstick up his rectum. He was left with a broken leg and arm. Lino was let off with three years probation after he threatened to sue the city for police brutality. One of his eyes blinked uncontrollably which was the results of injuries that occurred from a 1962 police beating at the hands of the New York City Police Department police. His two accomplaces were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. Their death sentences would later be converted to life imprisonment by Nelson Rockefeller in 1966. One suspected died in prison while the other remains in prison as of 2006.

Troubled family life and infidelities

By the 1990s he had fathered two sons and three daughters and was the grandfather of twelve. He would later distance himself from the son from his second marriage, Joseph Lino. His first wife and mother of Joseph and Michael has never been publicly identified. He would later confide to his mistress Andrea Giovino that he was "unlucky" and that his son Michael "is a big gambler and has lost a significant amount of money." He was also mad when Bonnano crime family member Ronald Filocomo had his son Joseph help dispose of Dominick Napolitano's corpse in 1981. His son Joseph was one of the many mobsters he would later testify against in court on charges of extortion and racketeering. His long-term common-law wife and mistress Andrea Giovino who started dating him at the age of twenty-one would later become a cooperating witness to several members of the Bonanno crime family and author her autobiography "Divorced from the Mob" including Frank. He had over five hundred made soldiers in the Bonanno crime family under his command during the peak of his power in the 1970s including Edward Garafola, Joseph Polito, Daniel Persico (of no relation to Carmine Persico), Eugene Lombardo and Ernest Montevecchi.

He first became involved with mistress turned state's evidence witness criminal attorney Andrea Giovino he was forty-five years old and a divorced father of five at the time. He lived in Marine Park, Brooklyn alone. He did not want any more children with Andrea but was a responsible and kind father to his own children and was a surrogate father in helping Andrea support her son from a previous marriage, Tobias Jr. He was extremely generous in nature. As a gift for their first Valentine's Day together he bought her a 1978 Mercedes Benz 450 SL convertible. He taught her a lot about clothing brands, materials and designs and would go shopping with her on Fifth Avenue and have her chauffeured by a limo. He bought themselves matching platinum Presidential Rolex watches. He never wore pinkie rings or neck chains. He worked under Anthony Indelicato and Alphonse Indelicato.

Involvement in the Mob

Frank had done everything from selling illegal pornography to running pump and dump schemes on Wall Street. Over the years he had been a loanshark, bookmaker, drug trafficker and contract killer for which he took part in the gangland slayings of six men including his cousin's drug dealer Joseph Aiello and the notorious killings of Capos Alphonse Indelicato, Dominick Trinchera and Phillip Giaccone.

Lino's one legitimate business venture was a school bus company he started with his son Joseph in the late 1970s after winning a contract from the New York City Department of Education. Lino hardly knew anything about buses, but was listed as an "advisor" on the company tax records.

By the late 1990s after being promoted as a capo, he was taking home earnings of more than $200,000. Although he was a major earner for the family he was not very good at maintaining his finances and at the end of every year he would close out to be $50,000 in debt. Between his children and grandchildren, and his own lavish lifestyle he would often be in debt of $50,000 by the end of each year, but somehow he always managed to come up on top. In September 1999 he began serving a 57 month sentence in prison. In 2006 Frank became an informant after he was faced with a racketeering conviction and testified against Bonanno crime family don Joseph Massino.

Frank Lino's mug shot.

Release From Prison

In April 2014, Lino was released from prison. He served more than eight years in prison after his 2003 arrest but was sentenced to time served in Brooklyn Federal Court as a reward for helping the feds.

Lino’s cooperation helped to bring down two dozen Bonannos including then-boss Joseph Massino. He also helped the feds recover the remains of three slain gangsters buried in mob graveyards. He is now a free man in the Witness Protection Program.

Involvement in the Three Capos murder

Three Capos Murder

On May 5, 1981, Frank Lino drove Dominick Trinchera in his car to the Sage Diner located at 80-26 Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens which was the first designated meeting spot. Frank ran from the car that was parked outside as Dominick Trinchera, Phillip Giaccone and Alphonse Indelicato were gunned down. After Lino disappeared, Joseph Massino and Dominick Napolitano discussed what was to happen to Lino. Salvatore Vitale had let Lino flee the scene and Benjamin Ruggiero who waited in a car outside on the street was not able to stop him. Lino had the option of going to the police, or he could inform the rest of Alphonse Indelicato's crew which would endanger Capo Dominick Napolitano and Joseph Massino. They couldn't even think of disposing of the bodies before the figured out what to do with Lino.

After a meeting with Aniello Dellacroce who explained that the only reason Lino was not told about the hit was because Alphonse Indelicato might have found out. Lino in the same conversation lied about knowing the whereabouts of Alphonse Indelicato's son, Anthony Indelicato who was also an intended victim who had not been present because he was high on cocaine. The Gambino crime family was willing to offer Frank an ironclad insurance policy on his own life. They had a lone job for the only survivor of "The Red Team" and the only person Anthony Indelicato trusted. They wanted Lino to murder Anthony Indelicato. Frank would lie and say he did not. The contract killing would later be handed down to undercover FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone, also known as "Donnie Brasco".


  1. [1] ODMP memorial