Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Richard Basciano Not Related to "Vinny Gorgeous"

The New York Daily News has issued the following correction to the story directly below:

“An Aug. 3 article about the partnership of Jamie Masada and Richard Basciano in the Laugh Factory mistakenly reported that Basciano's brother is the former Bonanno crime family boss known as "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, who is serving a life sentence for murder. In fact, the two are not brothers. The News regrets the error.”

Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada has filed suit against his Times Square business partner, Show World owner Richard Basciano, claiming that he has been shaken down by the mob-connected adult theater owner (In actuality there is no specific claim in the civil action that the Laugh Factory was “shaken down” or that a New York crime family is shaking down the Laugh Factory). Masada alleges to have been threatened with a gun, coerced into contracts and even says that the club was told that "somebody could be killed" if a certain comedian was booked again.

The suit pits the new, cleaned-up Times Square against its seedier past. Basciano has Gambino crime family associates and is the brother Bonanno crime family boss "Vinny Gorgeous." (Per above correction, the Bascianos are not related.) Masada, on the other hand, was personally asked to bring the Laugh Factory to New York by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the wake of 9/11. "I thought, 'Yes, New York needs some laughs,'" Masada said when he agreed to bring the club to Times Square in 2003.

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