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Frank Cognetta

Gang Land’s Jerry Capeci writes 

A Chin-wagging wiseguy with the crime family of the late Mafia boss Vincent Gigante and a corrupt union official were fingered on an FBI tape recording of conspiring to shake down the owners of Il Mulino, a classy Italian ristorante acclaimed by both presidents and mobsters.

The original Il Mulino, a legendary eatery located on West Third Street in Greenwich Village, was long a favorite of the late Genovese crime boss, whose Triangle Social Club was located around the corner. Other illustrious fans of the restaurant’s veal dishes, shrimp scampi and rib eye steaks include former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama who dined there together in 2009.

A few years after Chin’s death in 2005, the restaurant’s original owners, brothers Fernando and Gino Masci, who hailed from Abruzzo, Italy, sold the restaurant, along with their trademark name. Current owners have expanded the franchise to about a dozen new outlets, including one on Manhattan’s upper East Side. That spot, on East 60th Street and Park Avenue, was the target of wiseguy Steven (Mad Dog) Arena, according to a recording played last week at the trial of Genovese soldier Frank (Frankie G) Giovinco.

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