Hat Tip The Smoking Gun:
"It was first through executives at Spring Records, a small Manhattan-based label affiliated with Brown, that Sharpton--who worked from the firm’s office--was introduced to various wiseguys, including Franzese. His circle of mob contacts would grow to include, among others, the Paganos, Carmine DeNoia, an imposing Pagano associate known as “Wassel,” and Joseph “Joe Bana” Buonanno, a Gambino crime family figure involved in record distribution and production.
In another incident, details of Sharpton's shakedown tactics emerged:
At one point before he was “flipped,” Sharpton participated in a mob scheme to create a business front that would seek a share of lucrative Con Edison set-asides intended for minority-owned businesses. That deal, which involved garbage collection contracts, cratered when the power company determined that Sharpton’s silent partner was Genovese captain Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello. Details of the Con Ed plot emerged at a federal criminal trial of Ianniello and his business partner Benjamin Cohen..."
"As for Sharpton, Curington said that he worked closely with the activist when Sharpton was “young and stupid and broke” and seeking to pressure large music labels and concert promoters into spending more money in the black community. Sharpton threatened to organize pickets and boycotts unless a target handed over money--usually in the form of a contribution to the National Youth Movement, the predecessor organization to Sharpton’s National Action Network. Sometimes, a block of concert tickets could also quash a protest."