Franzese, 93, the reputed underboss of the Colombo crime family -- one of five Italian-American Mafia crime families said to control organized crime in New York -- was convicted of extorting cash from the Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs in midtown Manhattan. He was incriminated, in part, by testimony of his son, John Jr., a 50-year-old former drug addict who recorded hundreds of hours of conversations with his father as a government informant.
Jurors deliberated for a week, rejecting defense claims Franzese was simply an old man living on Social Security. A juror who didn't give her name told reporters age was not a factor in the jurors' decision.
Co-defendant John Capolino, who remained free on bail, hugged Franzese and kissed him on both cheeks after the verdict was read.
"'Z,' save a space for me," the New York Daily News quoted Capolino as saying.
Franzese's estranged wife of 55 years, Cristina, age 75 -- who stopped Franzese's wheelchair during the trial as he went to the men's room and urged him to plead guilty -- said Franzese would "do jail time standing on his head."
U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan did not set a sentencing date.
Franzese, rumored to have been involved in dozens of murders, once regularly partied with Frank Sinatra and was a financial backer of the 1972 pornographic film "Deep Throat."