August 29, 1997 |
Daniel Bachmann had warned his 80-year-old friend Chris about "sweet-talking guys" who might call wanting her money. But Chris was a "lonesome lady," and when telemarketers from Westwood Marketing of Bucks County promised her valuableprizes in return for a processing fee, she believed them, Bachmann wrote in a letter presented in federal court in Philadelphia yesterday. In 1992 and 1993, Chris, short for Christine Thelen, a retired physician from Wichita, Kan., was talked out of $65,000 by telemarketers from Westwood and elsewhere, said Bachmann, Thelen's estate executor.
January 14, 1998 |
A former city Highway Patrol officer who admitted stealing $10,000 from a suspected drug dealer and splitting it with a fellow officer was sentenced yesterday to four months in prison and fined $4,000. He told the judge he still couldn't figure out why he threw his career away. "For 15 years I was a good cop and did the best job I could," Michael Stieber told U.S. District Judge Herbert J. Hutton. "Then I made a mistake and did something wrong and took somebody else's money.
August 19, 2015 |
They hung together through the toughest of times, a sweeping federal investigation, health problems, and a prison term of more than four years. But the end has come for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo and his longtime fiancee, Carolyn Zinni, two years after she picked him up at a federal prison in Kentucky and drove him to the 33-room Victorian mansion they shared in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. "Regrettably, Carolyn and I have split," Fumo, 72, wrote Monday in an email.
November 11, 2015 |
Montgomery County bookmaker Joseph "Joe Vito" Mastronardo Jr., known as the "gentleman gambler," died in federal prison Monday in Massachusetts, where he had been sentenced to 20 months for his role as the mastermind of an international multimillion-dollar sports-betting ring. Mastronardo, the son-in-law of the late Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, was sentenced in February to the Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer, Mass., although his attorney had sought home confinement, citing his client's serious health issues including throat cancer, bouts of pneumonia, and a recent stroke.
May 19, 2002 |
Crime paid very well for Larry Lavin. But now, the Ivy League-educated former dentist is the one who's paying dearly. The man once dubbed "Doctor Dealer" has spent the last 16 years in federal prisons on drug and tax charges. If his attempts to reduce the remainder of his sentence fail, Lavin likely will serve another seven years. It's a far cry from the early 1980s, when Lavin, who went to Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of Pennsylvania, lived lavishly on the Main Line.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.