The Rev. Al Sharpton Jr. has had business dealings with at leas
NEW YORK (AP) _ The Rev. Al Sharpton Jr. has had business dealings with at least two reputed mob figures and tried to act as a go-between when the FBI attempted to infiltrate the organization of boxing promoter Don King, according a published report based on court documents and conversations secretly recorded by the FBI.
Federal prosecutors and court papers say that Sharpton acted as a front man for Matthew Ianiello, a reputed member of the Genovese crime family, in 1980, New York Newsday reported today. Sharpton, a black activist, was trying to win a lucrative garbage collection contract with the Consolidated Edison Co., the newspaper said.
The newspaper also reported that In January, 1983, FBI special agent Victor Quintana, an undercover agent posing as a wealthy fight promoter, attempted to infiltrate the King organization.
A meeting at an undisclosed Manhattan location was attended by Quintana, Sharpton, reputed underworld figure Michael Franzese and Reggie Barrett, a former boxing trainer who was posing as Quintana’s partner.
According to a secretly recorded tape of the meeting obtained by Newsday, Franzese is heard boasting: ″I got no convictions. I did no time. I had many arrests.″
″But they resulted in no convictions. So I stay in the background ... When it’s established, I want to surface, when it can do the less damage ... There is no way I can justify what I did, ’cause then they would make it an organized-crime scheme, money-laundering, the whole thing.″
Sharpton subsequently offered to work as the middleman between Franzese and King, the newspaper said.
″Don’s got to feel he has somebody that can say, ‘They said this last night. Everything is cool.’ So I’ll play that role. My role is to babysit Don,″ Sharpton was reported as saying.