Scott Fappiano, who spent 22 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, was busted a second time for mob activity this week—and told PIX 11 the FBI got it all wrong.
“It’s a joke, as far as I’m concerned,” Fappiano told PIX, at the door of his stately, Staten Island home in the Todt Hill section of the borough.
Fappiano, now 51, was dramatically freed from prison in 2006 after DNA from old “evidence vials” was recovered in a Texas lab, proving that he didn’t rape a Brooklyn police officer’s wife in 1983.
Fappiano told PIX in 2008 that he was selling natural gas—and later married his long-time love, Joanne. He left his old Bensonhurst neighborhood and settled into a well-manicured house in one of Staten Island’s toniest neighborhoods.
Trouble came knocking in 2011, when Fappiano was rounded up by the FBI and NYPD in the largest, single-day bust of mobsters in U.S. history. He was accused of robbery conspiracy, telling gangsters good targets for home invasions.
But Fappiano told a federal judge he’d had a difficult time adjusting to life on the outside of prison walls, turning to alcohol and drugs. She gave him “time served” and allowed him to walk free last year.
He wasn’t free of trouble for long.
This week, Fappiano was busted again, charged with shaking down garbage-hauling companies for the Gambino crime family.
Fappiano was pleasant when he answered his door in Todt Hill Thursday, remembering me from the interview I did with him in 2008.
“It’s Mary Murphy,” he called out to his wife, who was in the kitchen.
But Joanne Fappiano wanted no part of the media and told Scott to shut the door. He didn’t.
“I did nothing!” he insisted.
When I pointed out to Fappiano that he’d received another chance last year, when the judge let him go in the other mob case, he interjected “For nothing! For nothing!”. He added that he’s afraid to go back to trial “with these people, because they’ll give me one hundred years again for nothing!”
When I asked him about the charges that he’d hooked up with the Gambino crime family and was shaking down businessmen, he said, “Please. I’ve been in my house every day.”
Fappiano’s old neighbors in Bensonhurst rushed to his defense. “He grew up with my kids. He was the best kid on the block,” said Betty Pisano of Bay 16th Street. “Very courteous, very polite to me. He went to Xaverian High School and was one of the smartest students. He comes to see his mother, who’s sick. He’s very respectable.”
Pisano called the charges ridiculous, adding, “They better prove he did it this time.”