John "Johnny Sausage" Barbato or Johnny Pistachio, (born May 15, 1934 Jersey City, New Jersey) is a New York City mobster and reputed captain in the Genovese crime family.
Career and NJ exclusion
John stands at 5'7 and weighs 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He is a distant cousin of Genovese crime family mob boss Frank Costello and cousin to Genovese crime family capo Willie Moretti. Reportedly, Barbato has been an associate of the Genovese crime family since the 1940s At the time, his criminal record included convictions of four counts of bookmaking in the 1950s and 1960s, plus a conviction for robbery in 1963. Sometime in the late 1970s, Barbato became the personal bodyguard and chauffeur for Genovese crime family Underboss and Brooklyn faction leader Venero Mangano. After being recognized as a "made member" or soldier since the 1970s, Barbato was officially excluded from the state of New Jersey on August 11, 1987.
Barbato was a distant relative to the first wife of singer/actor Frank Sinatra, Nancy Barbato. Barbato is an uncle to Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra Jr. and Christina Sinatra. Barbato has lived in the area of Wolfes Pond Park in Staten Island, New York.
Indictments and guilty plea
In 2005, Barbato was indicted on federal racketeering charges and racketeering conspiracy, which included murder conspiracy, extortion, loansharking and witness tampering. U.S. law enforcement charged him with operating criminal activities in the Brooklyn section as well as associating with then-current family acting boss Dominick Cirillo and fellow captains Lawrence Dentico and Anthony Antico. Federal and state authorities alleged that Barbato was a "capo" (or captain) in the Genovese crime family. The indictment alleged that Barbato was included in a panel since the late 1990s of powerful family capos on how to corrupt labor and construction unions in New York and New Jersey through bribery and extorting their locals in order to achieve influence with companies operating in those areas. Barbato, Cirillo and Antico were even charged with murder conspiracy, as they reputedly plotted to murder an important witness who had helped building the racketeering case against the defendants. Following the arrest of Barbato and three others, The New York Times reported:
- "'With these arrests, law enforcement has effectively dismantled the present leadership of the Genovese family,' the United States attorney in Brooklyn, Roslynn R. Mauskopf, said in a statement announcing the indictments of the men. Prosecutors charged that the men took over the administration of the Genovese family business when their leader, Vincent Gigante, went to jail in 1997. The men, prosecutors said, continued the family's involvement 'in crimes designed to enrich its members,' including extortion, loan sharking and fraud."
The New York Daily News reported that Barbato and the others were "allegedly members of the Westside Crew, a ruling panel that runs the crime family in the absence of imprisoned Genovese boss Vincent (Chin) Gigante." Federal Bureau of Investigation Acting Assistant Director John Klochan said at the time: "Our hope is that the indictment will serve as their retirement papers."
On October 18, 2005, Barbato entered a guilty plea, admitting to his participation in an organized crime family and two acts of extortion conspiracy. Although he admitted to membership in a crime family, he did not name the Genovese crime family or acknowledge being a capo. Observers of organized crime noted that there was little precedent for this type of admission, as it was contrary to the "rules" that Mafia members had formerly lived by.
Release from prison
John Barbato was released from prison at age 74 on July 3, 2008.