- "The Clericuzio family is like the Holy Church for many of us throughout the country, and Don Domenico Clericuzio is the Pope. After the Santadio affair he could have declared war on some of your families, but instead, he chose to make peace. I, for one, am overcome."
- ―Virginio Ballazzo[src]
Virginio Ballazzo was a long time associate of the Clericuzio family.
A friend of Domenico Clericuzio ever since he arrived in the United States, Virginio helped Domenico on his rise to power and eventually served as his Underboss. He married Sophia and they had a daughter, Lucille and two sons.
After the war
At the end of the Santadio war, Don Clericuzio decided to retire, giving all of his business interests in New York City to Ballazzo, who would form his own sub-family, only having to pay a ten percent tribute to the Don. Virginio would continueto lend assistance to the family, including helping Joseph De Lena find Danny Fuberta, who had failed to pay a debt. At this time, he became well acquainted with Cross De Lena, who he would look after and who would develop a romance with Virginio's daughter. However, Joseph was secretly observing Virginio on behalf of the Don, who did not entirely trust him.
Virginio went into the carpet import business, eventually becoming extremely wealthy and a patron of the horse races.
Breaking the omerta
Eventually, Virginio would make a fatal mistake, appearing on the cover of the New York Times. The FBI kept an eye on him and eventually caught Ballazzo in the company of the mob and had him arrested. Ballazzo testified breaking the omerta and arousing the wrath of the family. The Clericuzios sent him a message in private warning him not to mention him explicitly, before he and Sophia disappeared into the Witness Protection Program.
- "Take me... spare my wife..."
- ―Virginio Ballazzo's last words[src]
Some time later, Virginio's location was discovered, and Dante Clericuzio was sent to dispatch the man he had been raised to view as an uncle, even though he had not officially implicated the Clericuzios. Under the watch of Pippi De Lena, Dante stopped Virginio's car, ignoring his plea to spare Sophia, and killing both of them, but not before revealing his identity to them both. They left the bodies in plain sight, shocking the general public and causing the authorities to begin an investigation.
Personality and traits
Ballazzo was an excellent businessman, but also an extremely affable personality who lived children, and became something of an uncle to the children of many of his business associates. He was also an extremely able boccie player, a game he frequently played with Joseph De Lena.
Behind the scenes
- He was portrayed by Burt Young.
|Underboss of the Clericuzio crime family|