Reputed Mobster Sells Land to NJ Transit

NJ Transit wanted the land for its plan to build a tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey. After the project was canceled, the family of a reputed mobster that owned the land wanted the money.

Now the family of Carmine “Papa Smurf” Franco have gotten a nice payout from the transit agency to help settle the dispute: $6.13 million, according to a settlement agreement NJ Transit.

The settlement ended a seven-year dispute with Franco’s family since the land was condemned for the rail project, which was supposed to double the train capacity between New York and New Jersey. The project was canceled by Gov. Chris Christie in October 2010. Much of the money was expected to be distributed through wire transfers by Sept. 1.

NJ Transit said it approved the settlement with Franco’s family four months ago. made the settlement public in an article this week. NJ Transit confirmed the settlement to Patch and emailed a copy of the agreement.

The 1.89-acre tract is located on the border of Hoboken, Weehawken and Union City. The two sides fought in court over the land that was valued at $8.15 million.

Franco, a 77-year-old Genovese Crime Family associate, has long been suspected of having mob ties and was once banned from the trash business in New Jersey, court papers said. In 1998, he was sentenced to prison and agreed to pay $11.5 million to the state and Bergen County for illegally carting trash out of state.

Franco was then busted in 2013 for being the ringleader of a scheme to control crooked waste management companies, law enforcement officials said.

Franco was one of 32 people in New York and New Jersey charged in the FBI-run takedown that included members of several crime families, authorities said. Franco was allegedly at the center of a scheme involving three well-known mob families, the Genovese, Gambino and Lucchese crime families.

According to U.S. Attorney’s Office release, Franco was one of 12 people who controlled crooked waste management companies that were officially owned by people who had no past ties to organized crime, who were known as “controlled members.” He was later convicted in 2014 and served a year in jail.

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