On March 4, 1953, just two days after Anna’s explosive open-court testimony, the Caruso Construction Company of Atlantic Highlands won a lawsuit against Vito seeking $32,724 for labor and supplies for the 130 Ocean Blvd. mansion, for which no payment was made. Vito had to pay the judgment or the property would be seized and sold at a sheriff’s auction.
On March 10, 1953, Vito is found guilty of contempt of court for failure to obey the judge’s order to make interim payments to Anna while the separate maintenance trial proceeded. The judge eventually dismissed Anna’s suit for separate maintenance, and Vito’s divorce action. Both sides appealed, but the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division upheld the rulings. On March 12, 1953, attorney Joseph Mattice said Vito Genovese could not pay the $32,999 judgment obtained by the Caruso Construction Company, so the Atlantic Highlands mansion was to be sold at a sheriff’s sale.
On March 24, 1953, Superior Court Judge Donald McLean ordered Vito Genovese to begin paying alimony to his estranged wife, or face jail. He also ordered Vito to pay $5,700 in back alimony. Vito’s lawyer said Vito was willing to turn over the Atlantic Highlands home to his wife, allowing her to sell it or rent it. In upholding the court’s previous guilty verdict on Vito’s contempt charge, it was noted that Vito had not denied his wife’s statements concerning his income from rackets and New York nightspots. The following day, the judge issued a warrant for Vito’s arrest. On March 26, the arrest warrant was stayed so that Vito could attempt to raise the funds to abide by the court’s decision in his divorce case. The sheriff’s auction of the Atlantic Highlands mansion and furnishings, a result of the lawsuit by Caruso Construction Company, was postponed.
May 5, 1953: Allowed by the judge to liquidate his assets to pay his alimony, Vito Genovese sold his Atlantic Highlands mansion furnishings at an auction in New York City at O’Reilly’s Plaza Art Gallery. Items sold included a “huge double bed with an enormous mirrored headboard, peach satin spread and peach satin pillow covers,” along with a Chinese painted television and matching piano; a huge dinner set; a sterling silver punch set; and a pair of six-foot-high marble lamps, in the form of semi-nude girls.” The sale netted $10,250, half of which went to Anna. Vito moved out of the house at 130 Ocean Blvd., and relocated to a rented small clapboard one-story home at 68 West Highland Avenue in Atlantic Highlands. According to Zillow.com, the house was built in 1952. Vito’s landlord described him as “a very good tenant.”
Caruso Firm Levies Genovese Judgment. (1953). The Daily Register, Red Bank, N.J., March 5, 1953, P. 1.
Genovese Guilty of Contempt For Failing to Pay Alimony. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J., March 11, 1953, P. 2.
Higher Court Upholds Ruling On Genovese. (1954) Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J.,January 28, 1954, P. 17.
Genovese Can’t Pay For Home, Lawyer Says. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J.,March 13, 1953, P. 1.
Court Tells Genovese: Pay Wife or Face Jail. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J.,March 24, 1953, P. 1.
Orders Arrest Of Genovese. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J.,March 25, 1953, P. 1.
Genovese Offer On Home Stays Trip to Jail. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J.,March 26, 1953, P. 2.
Genovese Home Sale Delayed. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J.,April 6, 1953, P. 1.
Vito to Auction Furniture for Alimony Cash. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J.,May 6, 1953, P. 1.
Image: Photo credit: Phil Stanziola, World Telegram staff photographer. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. No copyright restriction known. Staff photographer reproduction rights transferred to Library of Congress through Instrument of Gift. Public Domain Created: January 1959