May 1, 2014 |
Add U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno to the long list of men mystified by the jet-setting identity thief Jocelyn Kirsch. Not for her fake flowing tresses, which prosecutors alleged seven years ago she bought with other people's money, and not for the bikini shots, which were plastered across tabloid covers after her initial 2007 arrest. No, the federal judge was more puzzled Tuesday with a question at Kirsch's core as he sentenced her to five months in prison Tuesday for violating her federal probation with a simple stretch of shoplifting.
February 7, 2012 |
It was the second-biggest mistake of LaRue Y. Smith's life. Laid off from his job, Smith went to his computer, copied out a list of 7-Eleven stores in and around Philadelphia, grabbed a gun, and started sticking them up. The clerks and customers were terrified. Smith fired his revolver once, by accident, and almost shot himself in the leg. Police caught the former Marine eight weeks after his crimes had started in June 2007. Within hours, he confessed to a dozen robberies that netted him an unimpressive $2,510, plus cigarettes, chips, and soft drinks.
October 25, 2012 |
Convicted mobster Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino - the father of former Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino - died Monday at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. The elder Merlino, 73, had spent the last quarter-century behind bars. The federal Bureau of Prisons listed his potential release date as August 2016. Local attorney Joseph Santaguida confirmed Merlino's death but offered little other information Tuesday. He said simply that Merlino had been "sick for a while.
October 23, 2009 |
In sentencing the former head of a Northeast Philadelphia charter school to more than three years in prison for plundering its coffers, a federal judge yesterday called for more scrupulous government oversight of the taxpayer-funded charters so "this type of criminal activity is not allowed to be repeated. " On one side of U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno's courtroom were a few dozen staff members and parents of students at Philadelphia Academy Charter School, angered by the confessed crimes of Kevin M. O'Shea.
July 15, 2012 |
A U.S. district judge handed prison terms Friday to the founder of a Northwest Philadelphia charter school and its former chief executive for stealing $522,000 in taxpayer money to prop up a restaurant, a health-food store, and a private school they controlled, and for defrauding a bank. Hugh C. Clark, a lawyer who helped found New Media Technology Charter School and served for many years as its board president, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. Ina Walker, a career educator and the charter school's former chief executive officer, was sentenced to six months in prison.
March 28, 2011 |
Convicted drug kingpin Kaboni Savage is not happy with his accommodations at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering-murder charges that could carry a death sentence. Even Guantanamo Bay, the notorious federal lockup for suspected terrorists, would be better than the FDC at Seventh and Arch Streets, Savage said in a handwritten memo filed with U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick last week. In the memo, Savage, 36, complained about the conditions under which he is being held and the difficulty he has had meeting with his court-appointed attorneys.
July 11, 2012 |
NEW YORK — On Tuesday morning, Old City developer Michael Yaron stood in the hallway of a Manhattan courthouse with friends and family, framed by a tall open window, the Empire State Building rising up behind him. A few hours later, inside Courtroom 21D, Yaron learned that the empire he started from humble beginnings in Israel, in the storied halls of Oxford University, and on the streets he transformed in Philadelphia, will come to an end...
June 29, 1995 |
Admitted mob hit man Rosario Bellocchi, who was once engaged to marry the daughter of reputed mob boss John Stanfa, pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge yesterday and formally agreed to become a government witness. Bellocchi, 26, appeared calm and relaxed during a brief appearance in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia before Judge Ronald Buckwalter. He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, admitting his involvement in one murder, one attempted murder, three murder conspiracies, and one kidnapping.
November 23, 1991 |
Steven N. "Steakie" Vento Sr., the convicted South Philadelphia drug trafficker and mob associate who with his son planned a daring 1986 helicopter escape from federal prison, has died. He was 49. Vento, whose ruthless but charmed life might have been a TV movie had the FBI not nixed it, died of a heart attack Thursday. It was his fourth attack since 1984, when he was first stricken while imprisoned on federal drug charges. "He was shoveling and said, 'I don't feel well,' " before he collapsed, according to a federal source.
September 2, 2004 |
Anthony "Tony Buck" Piccolo, 81, a soft-spoken mobster known more for his gentlemanly manner than his acts of racketeering, died in a federal prison hospital this week. Mr. Piccolo died Monday night at the Federal Medical Center Devens in Devens, Mass., where he was being treated for heart problems, his longtime lawyer and friend Donald Manno said yesterday. Mr. Piccolo had been in jail since 1994 on racketeering charges stemming from separate New Jersey and federal cases.