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Vito Genovese, American Citizen of Good Moral Character

On December 13, 1935, while the family was living in Middletown, Vito filed a petition to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.  On November 25, 1936, his petition was granted and Vito became a U.S. citizen in New York City.  On November 21, 1952, U.S. Marshals served a summons on Vito at his Atlantic Highlands home on “a member of Genovese’s household.”  It was not known if Vito was present at the house at this time.  He was charged with concealing a criminal record when he obtained his U.S. citizenship in 1936; the proceedings were intended to lead to his deportation back to Italy.  November 25, 1952: Vito retained Asbury Park attorney Joseph Mattice to defend against the deportation proceedings.  Mattice was described as a “former District Court Judge.”  

On November 24, 1954, Vito went on trial in U.S. District Court in Trenton.  On August 16, 1955, Vito was found by the court to have lied on his naturalization application, and he was stripped of his citizenship.  The judge stated that Genovese clearly procured his citizenship “by fraud and illegality.”  Vito pursued appeals of the decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case, allowing the revocation of his citizenship to become final.  Vito continued pursuing legal means to regain his citizenship, without success, but he would never be deported.


USA, Plaintiff, v. Vito Genovese, Defendant, No. C1127-52, United States District Court D., New Jersey. August 16, 1955.

U.S. Marshals Hand Summons To Genovese. (1952).  Asbury Park Press, November 22, 1952, P.2.

Genovese To Fight To Hold Citizenship. (1952).  Asbury Park Press, November 25, 1952, P. 2.

Seek to Strip Genovese of Citizenship. (1954).  The Daily Record (Long Branch), November 24, 1954, P. 1.

Genovese Case Review Denied. (1956).  The Daily Record (Long Branch), December 18, 1956, P. 1.

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