First, Frank DiMattina’s restaurant reality show didn’t get picked up. Now this.
The reputed Genovese crime family associate who once owned Ariana’s Catering Hall in New Dorp has been found guilty of extortion, including threatening a rival caterer with a gun, U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch announced Friday.
Jurors heard that Staten Island caterer Walter Bowers was forced to withdraw his bid to cater lunches to a Catholic school in 2010. DiMattina was also bidding on that contract.
The victim testified that DiMattina, 44, warned him to withdraw from contention, and lifted his shirt to show an automatic handgun in his waistband. He also threatened to have someone assault him, and that he would burn down bagel stores belonging to Bowers’ business partner.
It probably didn’t help DiMattina’s case when when the priest who oversaw the bidding told the court Wednesday that the victim seemed, “Very, very nervous” when he withdrew his bid.
“He was looking around in a lot of different directions. He apparently didn’t want to be seen with me,” Rev. Michael Reilly, principal of St. Joseph by the Sea, told the court.
DiMattina faces at least five years in prison.