The initial activities of the group commenced with the entry of Joseph Profaci from Italy in 1928. Like most crime-based organizations, the Colombo family was formed with the principle purpose of generating money through various criminal undertakings that includes extortion, illegal gambling, and credit collections. In order to achieve their targets, the group used methods that included threats and use of violence that included murder (Santos 115). This essay provides an analysis of the activities of the Colombo Crime family by highlighting its origins, famous leaders, organizational hierarchy, legal and illegal activities, and the criminal activities that later on lead to the arrest of some of its members.
During the reign of Joseph Profaci, the group operated under the name Profaci crime family but this changed in Joseph Colombo’s leadership era. It is the period under the leadership of Joseph Colombo, which the crime family experienced a number of changes, including a public image campaign under a league that Joseph formed to agitate against the alleged discrimination and stereotyping of Americans of Italian origin. The crime family experienced some internal feuds in its history were some of the members were not contended with the decisions of their bosses for example the feud between Profaci and the Gallo brothers that threatened to split the crime family into two (Milhorn 117-118).
Joseph Profaci is the first boss of the Profaci Crime family, later christened the Colombo crime family after the leadership position went to Joseph Colombo senior. Profaci became powerful during a time when the Castellammarese war was coming to an end that made him serve with Tom Gagliano, Vince Magano, Lucky Luciano and Joe Bonanno. This group of five served as the heads of five mafia families in New York and was part of the larger national crime syndicate. He was born in Palermo in 1897 and relocated to the United States in 1922 dues to Mussolini’s policy that targeted Mafiosi. An ex-convict in Italy, Profaci managed to avoid serving any prison service in the United States, which is a major achievement considerering the crime family, was named after him. Among activities that made Joseph Profaci unpopular is the $25 tax that his organization charged monthly on each member of the family for the creation of a slush fund that would be used in taking care of members of the family who were in prison. Instead of spending the money for the intended purpose, Profaci would pocket it. Due to his activities, Profaci later on faced a revolt in his Colombo crime family. Some of his soldiers that included the Gallo brothers Jiggs Forlano and Persisco started planning his death but he discovered the plan before they could execute it. To divide them, Profaci promised rewards for some of those against him, which convinced Forlano, Persisco and their associate to come back under his fold living the Gallos brothers on their own, which led to a revolt against him, but he was able to divide the members so that he remained in power (Milhorn 117-118). Profaci was the owner of about twenty legitimate businesses with importation of olive oil from Italy being his biggest business, which made him the single largest importer into the United States. Although a leader of a criminal organization, Profaci was an avid church member. He was a friend to the priest at the time and a large contributor to charities sponsored by the church (Abadinsky 101). Profaci died in 1962 due to natural causes, with his brother in law, Joseph Magliocco, taking up the vacant leadership position. Magliocco did not hold the position for long as he also died of natural cause in 1963 with Joseph Colombo senior taking up his position in the crime family (Abadinsky 102). During his