Hey, hey, the gang's all here.
Reputed Genovese associate James Bernardone is prohibited from cavorting with mobsters while awaiting trial on racketeering charges, and his bail was at risk of being revoked after FBI agents photographed him attending a wake at a funeral home in the Bronx which was attended by "more than two dozen members of the Genovese and Luchese crime families, including [reputed] Luchese underboss Steven Crea" as reported by John Marzulli for the Daily News.
The wake was for Anthony Villani Sr. whose son Anthony Jr. is a reputed Lucchese soldier according to federal prosecutors.
Lucky for Bernardone federal judge Nicholas Garaufis was willing to overlook the apparent violation with just a stern scolding rather than revoking bail albeit noting that "wakes and funerals are a fertile environment for the discussion of activities of organized crime."
Indeed, at the racketeering trial against Bartolomeo Vernace earlier this year federal prosecutors introduced a series of FBI surveillance photos showing the reputed Gambino capo meeting with other supposed wiseguys at a succession of funerals over two decades as then reported by Mitchel Maddux for the New York Post:
Attending funerals to remember loved ones or friends allows mobsters to argue that they're just participating in community events that are integral to daily life. But the feds counter that these gatherings give wiseguys "cover," because meeting in an abandoned warehouse or on a decaying waterfront pier would help the feds accuse them of racketeering.
The mob is infamous for holding sinister meetings in seemingly innocent places. For example, when Greg DePalma's son Craig fell into a coma after a botched suicide the Gambino capo placed him in a nursing home, and exploited the tragedy by using his son's room as a place to hold court on the assumption that it wouldn't be bugged.
Bernardone is the business agent for Local 124 of the International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades, and is charged for his alleged role in a racketeering conspiracy to extort a subcontractor on construction projects in Queens and Manhattan.