In 1990, after his arrest in New York for garment racketeering, Carlo Gambino’s son Joseph Gambino received a call from a local police charity asking him to take out an ad in their magazine.
At the time, not only did he and his older brother Tommy Gambino own several garment trucking firms, but they were also generous philanthropists with their own foundation called the Gambino Medical and Science Foundation.
The call was picked up by an FBI wiretap placed in the ceiling of his office at one of his firms, which was installed back in 1989 and of which hadn’t been removed until later in 1990.
According to authorities, Gambino wasn’t too thrilled about the call, screaming into the phone, “What balls! What shocking motherfucking! I had every fucking cop in New York here yesterday, you want a fucking donation, too?”
He then told the caller before hanging up, “To the death of every cop in New York. I wanna put, Love, Joe Gambino. You want me to put that in the ad? All you go fuck yourselves. Love and kisses, the Mafia.”
A year later, Joseph and Tommy Gambino attended a dedication after donating more than one million dollars to Schneider’s Children’s Hospital on Long Island to help build a bone marrow transplant unit bearing their name. It was the first such unit in New York at the time. The unit still exists and still bears their name. At the dedication, Joseph Gambino told reporters, “Cancer has been a big thing in our life because our mother died of cancer.” And it was one of the main reasons why the family decided to create the foundation.
Joseph and Tommy Gambino went to trial for their racketeering charges in February 1992. Twenty-two days into the trial, they pled guilty, paid a $12 million fine, and promised to get out of the trucking business. Both retired. Joseph Gambino died in 2020. His brother, Tommy, spent his final years actively involved in the charity he founded back in 1990. He died in October 2023 at 94 years old.