One of the most notorious underworld figures to ever operate in the Albany section of The Empire State was Anthony Pompay. Better known as “Sonny” Pompay, he started his underworld career during the 1920s Prohibition era and became a dominant figure in area rackets.
Anthony M. (Sonny) Pompay was born in 1907 in the Upstate New York County of Saratoga to parents Michael and Raffaela Pompay. His parents raised Sonny and his siblings at 52 Beekman Street, Saratoga Springs.
In later years, he resided at 69 Jackson Street, Saratoga Springs. After getting married, he and his wife Angeline relocated again nearby to a home on Crescent Avenue, also in Saratoga Springs.
Around 1930, the Pompay family had lost their father Michael at a young age when their dad was killed in an accident while working at the Schenectady Railway Company. Their mom Raffaela was thereafter awarded $8.48 weekly for the period of her widowhood to help her care for her family.
Sonny’s brother Augustus also sought monetary compensation because of an amendment allowing for payment if children had a disability. Augustus was disabled in that he only had one leg.
Pompay was closely allied with another top Saratoga Springs-based racketeer named Louis (Doc) Farone and his two brothers. In fact, Sonny Pompay was generally viewed by both local law enforcement and the underworld alike as Farone’s righthand man and closest confidante.
The Thirsty Public and High-Class Casinos
Starting out as liquor bootleggers during the 1920s Prohibition era, Farone and Pompay led a large gang that operated unregistered alcohol stills producing their own unlicensed liquors, wines, and beer.