Reputed mob solider sentenced to 27 months

Posted: May 30, 2014

A REPUTED mob soldier was sentenced yesterday to 27 months in prison for running an illegal gambling business.

Eric Esposito, 43, of Philadelphia, was convicted Feb. 21 after a weeklong trial for running the business on behalf of the city's La Cosa Nostra family at the First Ward Republican Club in South Philadelphia, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The club is unrelated to the Republican Party. The business used video poker machines, which prosecutors had said sometimes brought in $2,000 a day.

As part of the sentence, U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno also ruled yesterday that Esposito must pay a fine of $4,000 and serve three years of supervised release.

The government alleged that Esposito worked as the "de facto manager" of the club from 2006 to 2009 and never renounced his mob membership or status as a "made" member.

The prosecution argued that Esposito's sentencing range should be increased to 30 to 37 months because of his longtime association with the mob. The 27-month term he received was the maximum under the advisory sentencing guidelines.

Thirteen other reputed La Cosa Nostra leaders, members and associates have been convicted or pleaded guilty in the case. One is awaiting sentencing. Esposito was one of 13 people included in a 50-count superseded indictment unsealed in May 2011.

The reputed boss of the Philly mob, Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, was released from federal prison in January after prosecutors decided not to try him a third time. He was not convicted of any charges in the case.


On Twitter: @dylan_segelbaum

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