"This is a man of two faces," Han said of defendant Anthony Staino. "You give him money, he can be a doll. You don't give him money, he's the devil."
Han said jurors can select from a "buffet of crimes" to convict the alleged mobsters of racketeering conspiracy. But murder isn't on the menu. The 12-year investigation produced an indictment built mostly on allegations of loan-sharking, sports betting and the operation of illegal video-poker machines.
Prosecutors showed the jury a computerized wagon wheel with the faces of Ligambi, 73, and other mobsters in an effort to hammer home the point that the crimes are part of a large conspiracy. A racketeering conviction could do long-lasting damage to the city's crime family.
"Everyone on that wheel preyed upon the weak, hapless and vulnerable," Han said.
Ligambi's crew didn't seem particularly impressed with the government's argument, which drew a packed house that included U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger and dozens of friends and relatives of the defendants.
"I'm more worried about getting hemorrhoids than this trial," defendant Damion Canalichio told a relative.
Defense attorney Joseph Santaguida, who represents reputed underboss Joseph "Mousie" Massimino, told the jury that the case is "saturated with reasonable doubt." He said government resources would be better-spent fighting terrorism or stopping mass murderers than running wiretaps to catch people placing sports bets.
"Not only do they owe him an apology," Santaguida said of his client, "they owe you an apology, the taxpayer ... How much did this investigation cost?"
Santaguida, whose bombastic style earned him a scolding from U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno earlier in the trial, leaned over to a fellow defense attorney after Han played a secretly recorded conversation about an internal mob dispute.
"Who gives a s---?" Santaguida asked.
Five defense attorneys will present their closing arguments Friday. On Monday, Ligambi's attorney, Edwin Jacobs, will give his closing argument, followed by the government's final rebuttal. The jury will get its instructions Tuesday.
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