At 86, Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello, reputed acting boss of the Genovese crime family of New York, has managed to outlive virtually all of his contemporaries. But the ailing mobster might not outlive a stretch in federal prison, even a brief one. On Monday, April 16, Ianniello was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 18 months in prison on a racketeering charge stemming from his involvement with the Queens, N.Y.-based Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, which represents bus drivers.
Ianniello pleaded guilty last September to a charge that he’d helped arrange for bus companies to make illegal payoffs to Local 1181 officials. Julius “Spike” Bernstein, the local’s former secretary-treasurer, was convicted on obstruction of justice, extorting money from a bus company, and conspiring with Ianniello and other Genovese mobsters to extort $100,000 from a medical center leasing space from the union. Ianniello became the crime family’s acting boss when the late Vincent “the Chin” Gigante went to federal prison in 1997. His sentence was lenient partly due to age and poor health, and partly due to his having been a decorated soldier in World War II. Ianniello also faces a 24-to-30-month sentence in federal prison in a separate case involving mob infiltration of the trash-hauling industry in Connecticut. No labor union was directly related to that case. (wnbc.com, 4/16/07; New York Daily News, 4/17/07).