Mario "Sonny" Riccobene (1933 - 1993, South Jersey) was a member of the Philadelphia crime family and federal witness. He was found by his former associates who he ratted on and was murdered by them.
Mario was born in 1933 to Sicilian immigrant parents. He had two brothers, Robert Riccobene, and an older half-brother, Harry Riccobene. During the 1950s he and Harry joined the Philadelphia crime family. They operated a loan-sharking and numbers racket and acted as Angelo Bruno's driver. From 1980 till 1983 Mario supplied mob associate Robert Rego with phenyl-2-propanone, a chemical needed to produce methamphetamine.
After boss Angelo Bruno was murdered the Philly mob was in chaos. Philip Testa became the next boss but he was killed by a bomb one year later. The next boss was Nicodemo Scarfo. The Riccobenes weren't supportive of Scarfo and refused to see him as the leader. Soon a mob-war started between the Scarfo faction and the Riccobenes. In 1982 Scarfo sent consigliere Frank Monte to Mario to try to betray Harry Riccobene, because they knew that Harry and Mario weren't getting along at that time. Mario however refused to betray his brother and told his brother about the event. In May 1982 Frank Monte was shot dead by Riccobene crew members.
After attempts on all the Riccobene's lives, the police stopped the violence when they arrested six men of the Riccobene faction for racketeering. Amongst them were both Mario and Harry Riccobene. Harry was convicted to 9 years in prison and Mario was convicted to 4 and a half years plus a $10,000 fine. The others members were Joseph Ciancaglini, Charles Warrington, Pasquale Spirito and Joseph Bongiovanni. With Mario and Harry locked up, Scarfo had the advantage. Scarfo ordered the murder of their brother Robert and was killed in front of the Riccobene's mother in December 1983. That same month Mario's son Enrico committed suicide because he feared many Scarfo death squads was looking for him. Mario became a federal witness and testified against his crew and Scarfo's faction. The war ended and the Riccobene's lost. Mario and his family were put in the witness protection program.
In the 1990s Mario descided to be a mobster again. He left the witness protection program and moved to South Jersey. He slowly made contacts again with old and new associates. In January 1993, he was shot to death while sitting in his car outside a diner. "Mario should of never come back," an informant said. "He was around, so he got his. If he'd stayed in Elvis country, then he'd still be alive.". The Philadelphia crime family did not forget about Mario Riccobene and his decision to become an informant.