Bonanno’s Son Gets 4 Years for Bilking Elderly

Associated Press

Salvatore (Bill) Bonanno, 53-year-old son of reputed ex-Mafia boss Joe Bonanno Sr., was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for cheating nine elderly people out of $110,000 in a home improvement scam.

He was ordered freed on bail pending the outcome of his appeal so that he could prepare for a trial in federal court on unrelated fraud charges.

Bonanno was found guilty in November of conspiracy and eight counts of grand theft. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Joseph Karesh, who presided over the 5 1/2-month trial.


Karesh expressed concern for the elderly victims, some of whom had dug into retirement funds for home repairs that were never performed. The judge said he decided against sentencing Bonanno to the maximum term of seven years because the jury acquitted him on several counts.

‘Clear Conscience’

“I have a clear conscience,” Bonanno said after the hearing. “I’m absolutely innocent.”

The trial was postponed nine times after Bonanno’s 1981 indictment, which accused him of committing 19 felony counts of conspiracy and theft during 1977 and 1978. He and his brother, Joe Jr., were charged along with Anthony Insana, who testified for the prosecution. Joe Bonanno Jr. has yet to be tried.

Three victims testified during the trial. Four others died before the case was heard and two were reportedly unable to testify.

Bonanno, his brother and Jerome Gatto face charges of fraud and conspiracy in the federal court case now set for April 1. They are accused of bilking a Salt Lake City merchant out of $200,000 in a scam in which they claimed they were marketing $700,000 worth of posters depicting U.S. presidents.