Venero Frank "Benny Eggs" Mangano (born September 7, 1921 - 2017) is the underboss of the Genovese crime family. Since boss Daniel Leo was imprisoned in 2007, Mangano has been the family's senior leader outside prison. The nickname "Benny Eggs" came from his mother running an egg farm. He was released from prison on November 2, 2006 after serving a 15 year sentence for extortion.
Venero Mangano is related to Gambino crime family boss Vincent Mangano (1888–1951), Phil Mangano (1898–1951), Lawrence Mangano and Anthony Mangano. Venero Mangano was listed as a caporegime twice by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in a 1987 exclusion order.
Mangano was for several years an independent wholesaler and the head of a surplus stock distribution company; one of his prominent customers was Calvin Klein. During this time, Venero even became friends with Klein's business partner, Barry K. Schwartz.
During World War II, Mangano served as a bomber tail gunner with the United States Army Air Corps in Europe. In recognition of his service, the Army decorated Mangano with a Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters and three Battle Stars.
In later years, Mangano joined a crew in Greenwich Village that would later belong to Vincent Gigante. Mangano oversaw his businesses out of a social club at 110 Thompson Street. These operations included an immensely profitable monopoly on window replacement in the New York City metropolitan area.
Convictions prior to 1991
As a member of the Genovese crime family, Mangano had a notable criminal record;
- October 7, 1946 - Bookmaking - $50 fine.
- May 15, 1947 - Bookmaking - $200 fine.
- October 8, 1950 - Bookmaking - $200 fine and 2 months imprisonment.
- February 21, 1961 - Bookmaking - $250 fine and 3 months imprisonment.
- August 6, 1981 - Civil Contempt for refusing to testify once granted immunity - incarcerated from August 18, 1981 to April 22, 1982.
1991 Windows case
From 1978 to 1990, four of the five crime families of New York formed a cartel of window replacement companies. Each family assigned one or more men to control their share in the cartel (as shown below).
- Lucchese crime family - Vittorio Amuso, Anthony Casso and Peter Chiodo - had the largest share in the Window racket.
- Genovese crime family - Venero Mangano, Gerard Pappa (deceased) and Peter Savino (associate)
- Gambino crime family - Peter Gotti
- Colombo crime family - Benedetto Aloi
The cartel eventually controlled over $3 billion in contracts from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). The cartel monopolized the industry through Local 580, a Lucchese family-controlled local of the Iron Workers Union. Through the union, the cartel could solicit bribes, extort payoffs and enforce its monopoly. The cartel worked their controlled industry by charging a tax of approximately $5.00 to $6.00 for almost every window replacement, public and private, sold in New York City.
By 1990, law enforcement had crushed the window replacement cartel. It started in 1988, when prosecutors persuaded cartel member Savino to become an informant and wear a wire. It was Savino's information over a two-year period that led to the indictments.
The sweep of indictments was wide. In 1990, Peter Gotti was tried and acquitted; Mangano, Aloi, and Colombo crime family soldier Dennis DeLucia were convicted. Sentencing guidelines should have seen Venero and Aloi get three-year sentences, but both men received more than 15 years each (Mangano - 188 months, Aloi - 200 months).
Nearly all the members of the Local 580 were indicted on charges ranging from bid rigging to extortion. Vincent Gigante was indicted but found mentally unfit to stand trial; he was later convicted in 1997. Vittorio Amuso and Anthony Casso went into hiding, appointing Alphonse D'Arco as acting boss of the Lucchese family on January 9, 1991. In 1992, Amuso was captured and later convicted in a superseding indictment that included the "Windows Case" charges. In 1993, Casso was captured, took a plea bargain, and started cooperation with authorities himself. Peter Chiodo pleaded guilty after an assassination attempt and admitted killing potential witness John Morrissey, a business agent for Local 580.
In 1997, while still in prison, Mangano was called to testify against boss Vincent Gigante. He refused to testify, saying, "What do you want to do, shoot me?" and "Shoot me, but I'm not going to answer any questions". He later took the witness stand, but refused to answer any questions, evoking his Fifth Amendment rights. Mangano tried several times to get a new sentencing or hearing, but to no avail. On November 2, 2006, Mangano was released from prison. The future was uncertain for Mangano and he was fortunate to have lived out his sentence. While in prison, he survived two heart attacks and three emergency heart operations. Upon Mangano's release, it was speculated that he would become the boss of the Genovese family, but there is no evidence that this happened. Although partially blind and limited to a wheelchair, Mangano is currently believed to be serving as underboss of the family.