Philly wiseguy pleads guilty, but he's no rat

Gaeton Lucibello admitted a shakedown.
Gaeton Lucibello admitted a shakedown.
Posted: August 03, 2012

Don't worry, Philly wiseguys. Gaeton Lucibello isn't pulling a Henry Hill on you.

He won't be taking the stand to tell the jury about the alleged crimes of Philly mob boss Joseph Ligambi and his underlings.

That's because the guilty plea Lucibello finalized Thursday doesn't require him to dish on La Cosa Nostra to receive a little leniency.

"It's a noncooperation agreement," said David Fritchey, chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force in the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Lucibello, 59, admitted to assisting in shaking down a bookie for "street tax" payments and operating two illegal video-poker machines as part of a racketeering conspiracy. He faces up to 30 years in prison, but under the terms of the agreement, he'll likely receive 51 to 63 months at his sentencing in November.

Lucibello previously agreed to a government plea deal, but backed out at the last minute in April and decided to go to trial. The flip-flopping mobster then changed his mind again, even though the current deal apparently isn't much sweeter.

"I think he just needed more time to think about it," a law-enforcement source said. "It's essentially the same thing."

Ligambi and his co-defendants — including high-ranking reputed mobsters Joseph Massimino, Anthony Staino, Marty Angelina and George Borgesi — are set to go on trial in October.

Louis "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello has pleaded guilty and is expected to testify for the prosecution.

Contact William Bender at 215-854-5255 or benderw@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @wbender99.

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