Born in Sicily, Conte is a resident of Roslyn, New York. He was at one time a board member of Key Food Cooperative Supermarket Chain, an association of small supermarkets in New York City. Conte's relatives continue to run supermarkets in New York City as part of the Key Food Cooperative Supermarket Chain.
On February 18, 1987, Conte was indicted on charges of ordering the shooting of Sicilian mobster Pietro Alfano in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan. Authorities arrested Conte at Kennedy International Airport as he was preparing to fly to Puerto Rico. Alfano was a defendant in the ongoing Pizza Connection trial, a massive investigation of heroin trafficking through pizza restaurants. The government eventually dropped charges against Conte when a key witness recanted his testimony. Alfano survived the assassination attempt, but was left a paraplegic.
In 1990, Gambino boss John Gotti ordered the murder of mobster Louis DiBono, a member of Conte's crew. DiBono had allegedly been disrespectful to Gotti, who decided to eliminate him, and sent bobby Boriello to attend to Dibono. In October 1990, DiBono's bullet-ridden body was discovered in the front seat of a Cadillac sedan in the underground garage at the New York World Trade Center.
In February 1993, Conte was charged with the DiBono murder. However, in January 1994 a mistrial was declared due to a hung jury. In June 1994, Conte was reindicted on the DiBono murder. In lieu of a retrial, Conte decided to accept a plea bargain deal from the government. On June 21, 1994, Conte and two others pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder in the DiBono case. Conte was sentenced in September 1994 to seven and a half years in prison.
In April 1998, Italian authorities uncovered $1.9 million buried on a farm just north of Lake Como in Switzerland. The money was resting in a steel tank, wrapped in tin foil and plastic trash bags. An informant said that the money belonged to Conte and Gambino mobster Francesco Versaglia. Before going to prison, Gotti expressed suspicions that Conte and Versaglia had been withholding money from the family, but Gotti never moved against them. In May 1998, Italian authorities requested Conte's extradition to Italy after his release from prison to face new charges.
On September 26, 2003, Conte was released from federal prison. The Italian government never charged Conte with a crime or requested his extradition; accusations against him by an informant were never substantiated.
- "BAIL IS DENIED 2 IN SHOOTING IN 'PIZZA CONNECTION' CASE" New York Times February 19, 1987
- "WITNESS SAID TO REFUSE TO TESTIFY IN MOB SHOOTING" New York Times May 24, 1987
- "3 Reputed Gotti Associates Charged With Murder" by JOSEPH P. FRIED New York Times February 6, 1993
- "Mistrial Is Declared in Mafia Murder Case" New York Times January 6, 1994
- *"CASH BURIED IN SWITZERLAND IMPLICATES GAMBINO CAPO" By JERRY CAPECI New York Daily News May 11, 1998
- Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator