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 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.
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.
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...
April 23, 2013 |
KABONI SAVAGE, the convicted drug dealer facing the death penalty if also convicted of committing or ordering 12 murders, on Monday was portrayed by his attorneys and girlfriend as a good-natured man - even while threatening the girlfriend. It was the first day of the defense team's presentation of its case to the jury after federal prosecutors rested last week, capping 2 1/2 months of testimony. "We got a bond for life. I'd kill you before I let you go," Savage, 38, who is serving 30 years in federal prison for drug conspiracy, reportedly told Crystal Copeland during a phone call recorded by authorities.
January 27, 2012 |
The former warden of the Federal Detention Center in Center City pleaded guilty this morning to witness tampering, obstruction of justice and related offenses in connection with an incident in which a guard accidentally brought a gun into the center. Troy Levi, 49, of Williamstown, N.J., is to be sentenced on May 7. According to a plea agreement with the government, Levi is to be sentenced to five years probation (with the first four months served in home confinement), 400 hours of community service and a $15,000 fine.
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.
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.