The Genoard Family came into wealth and power thanks to the efforts of Eve Genoard's grandfather, who took advantage of America's industrial boom to invest in the textile industry. He amassed a large amount of wealth this way, and the family would come to own a mansion in Newark, New Jersey, turning the original family home on Millionaire Row, New York into a secondary residence.
...at least, that was how the family appeared on the surface. In reality, the first generation head of the family had not earned his millionaire fortune through the textile industry, but through the managing of factories that manufactured drugs (marijuana and cocaine among others). He profited by selling his drugs to the black market through the Runorata Family. During this time, the Genoard family essentially controlled the local drug sources and earned a high standing in the criminal underworld.
The first generation head would suddenly pass away in October 1930. A further blow to the family came a few days later, when the Genoard inheritance was stolen from the family safe by two thieves. After the chaos settled down, the deceased's son Raymond and eldest grandson Jeffrey officially inherited the family business; however, the two new second generation heads could not come to a monetary compromise with the Runoratas, and Genoard-Runorata relations suffered.
Tensions boiled over and culminated in the murder of both Raymond and Jeffrey in December 1931 by the Runoratas, who framed their deaths as a car accident. With Raymond's second son Dallas missing and his daughter Eve both underage and ignorant of the family's true business, management of the family factories was handed over to key staff (who would fall under the influence of the Runoratas) while all but two of the family servants eventually resigned. The factories still paid Eve royalties, but this was only in name. The Runoratas also acquired the Genoards' cover businesses.
The only assets left to the family were the land and family estate in New Jersey, alongside the New York home.
The Genoard Family - or rather, Eve Genoard - sponsored construction/drudging work alongside the Hudson River in early 1932, citing an interest in supporting the city infrastructure. In exchange, the young heiress asked the workers to dredge the riverbottom and show her whatever they found. The entire venture was a guise for Eve's true motives: to find her missing brother Dallas.