Later that year, he pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy related to the planned construction of a NASCAR speedway on Staten Island - a plan that eventually was scrapped.
His wife and children were inside the home in the swanky Todt Hill area.
Multiple press accounts since 2015 said Cali had ascended to the top spot in the gang, although he never faced a criminal charge saying so.
The Gambino family was once one of the most notorious crime syndicates in America and one of New York's five major crime families.
A Gambino family memeber has spoken out after the death of Gambino crime boss, Frank Cali, and paid tribute to the man he says all the kids looked up to.
The late NY native had served time in recent years, too.
Castellano's death led to the rise of John "Dapper Don" Gotti, who then took over as Gambino family boss, running criminal enterprises ranging from gambling to money laundering to prostitution.
The body of former mob boss John Gotti is carried from Papavero Funeral Home in the Queens borough of NY 15 June 2002.
He had long ties with the Sicilian mafia and the Gambino family, and was said to have intentionally kept a low profile during his time in charge. Members of Gotti's own family allegedly tried to step into the leadership shoes, but were unsuccessful.
His uncle through marriage, John Gambino, was a Gambino captain and served on the family's ruling panel, said Probation. Capeci said the killing "doesn't have the feel" of a Mafia-sanctioned hit.
Witnesses told NY media outlets that they heard a number of shots before a blue pickup truck fled the area.
Detectives stand over body of reputed mob boss Paul Castellano, after execution on 46th St. Body of Castellano's chauffeur, Thomas Bilotti, lies partially covered in the street, far left. Frank was later sentenced to 16 months in prison and was released in 2009.
Last October, Bonanno crime family associate Sylvester Zottola, 71, was gunned down at a Bronx McDonald's drive-thru as he waited for a coffee.
In that case, authorities intercepted conversations shedding light on his quiet underworld influence and popularity at home and overseas.
One man collapsed in front of the home crying: 'Papa!
Cali, the judge wrote, had subjected the victim "to an implied threat of violence" which carried great weight due to Cali's "status in the organized crime family which carries a reputation for violence".