January 8, 2014 |
MAYBE THE Philadelphia mob fizzled out when Joey Merlino got pinched in 1999. Or maybe it continued to thrive well into the 21st century on a steady diet of video-poker revenue and loan-sharking juice. Depends on your benchmarks for a successful criminal organization. But those photos? They were a bad idea. As closing arguments began yesterday in the retrial of reputed mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his nephew George Borgesi, federal prosecutors broke out the photo album again.
January 2, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia judge denied bail Tuesday for a reputed mob associate charged with attempting to have three people killed, including a grand jury witness. The alleged crimes of Ronald Galati strike at the "heart of the justice system" and leave witnesses fearing for their lives, said Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Ehrlich. He sent Galati back to prison to await trial on charges of attempted murder, solicitation of murder, witness intimidation, and retaliation. "This case will be decided in the courtroom and not on the streets," the judge said.
December 20, 2013 |
City officials defended their contract with a South Philadelphia garage on Wednesday, a day after questions arose about its ties to a reputed mob associate now charged in a murder-for-hire case. Over the last four years, the city has paid American Collision & Automotive Center, an auto-body shop run by the children of Ronald Galati, nearly $1.3 million for repair work to fleet vehicles, including police cruisers. Galati, a 63-year-old employee of the business with close ties to former Philadelphia mob boss Joey Merlino and consigliere George Borgesi, was charged Saturday with solicitation to commit murder, witness retaliation, and intimidation.
December 19, 2013 |
RONALD GALATI, a South Philly fraudster and reputed mob associate at the center of a triple murder-for-hire investigation, has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from a lucrative contract to repair and maintain Philadelphia Police Department vehicles, the Daily News has learned. Galati, 63, identified by authorities as a onetime associate of mobsters Joey Merlino and George Borgesi, was able to land the contract despite a 1994 racketeering conviction for turning one of his auto-body garages into what federal prosecutors described as a "shop of fraud.
June 24, 2013 |
We were expecting an order of lead after the onion rings. Instead, the world faded to black, and we were left to wonder. Now we wonder no more. Tony Soprano, as it turns out, didn't get whacked in North Jersey back in 2007. He died of a heart attack while vacationing in Rome. It happened last week, and the media went nuts. "Tony Soprano Dead," screamed the front page of the New York Post. "Tony's Dead," countered the New York Daily News, implying that the surname was superfluous.
October 2, 2012 |
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Joseph Merlino steps out onto the iron-railed balcony of his $400,000 townhouse. Bare-chested, ripped and clad in nothing but gray skivvies, he looks more like a former Calvin Klein underwear model than one of the most ruthless mobsters of his time. A year out of prison, Joseph Salvatore "Skinny Joey" Merlino isn't so skinny anymore. But he looks almost as boyish at 50 as at 39, when he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for racketeering. Back then, he was a 5-foot-3, 100-pound dapper young don who masterminded the bloody takeover of the Philadelphia mob. Today, he is a two-hour plane ride from the Southwest Philadelphia rowhouse where he grew up to become an underworld icon, both feared and eerily revered in the City of Brotherly Love.
February 29, 2012 |
E VEN AS Joey Merlino was settling into a South Florida halfway house last summer after 12 years in prison, the FBI issued a confidential alert warning law-enforcement officials that the former Philadelphia mob boss might try to set up shop in the Miami area with some of his old associates. The memo was contained in the first batch of some five million emails being released by the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks - including several FBI alerts obtained by a Texas-based private-intelligence firm on topics ranging from biker gangs to al Qaeda's English-language website.
December 20, 2011 |
DON'T WORRY ABOUT me, judge. Those Philly wiseguys wouldn't lay a hand on me. I'm untouchable. That's basically what Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., son of former Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, told U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler in Camden yesterday. And it worked. Scarfo, 46, an alleged made member of New York's Lucchese crime family awaiting trial on corporate-fraud charges in New Jersey, will be removed from a protective unit at the federal lockup at 7th and Arch streets.
September 19, 2011
THE RECENT reporting by Dan Gross and William Bender on organized-crime bosses Joey Merlino and Ralph Natale show the unhealthy mentality of convicts wanting to glorify their crimes. Trying to create a source of income from hurting others is not what our society should support. The list of individuals affected directly or indirectly by organized crime is extremely long, beginning with the families of the criminals. What child would be proud of their "hit man" father who murdered others, thinking only of himself and what goal would be fulfilled by taking another's life?
September 12, 2011 |
NOT TO BE outdone by former mob boss Ralph Natale , who is working on a memoir, it turns out that Joey Merlino , who was just released from a Florida halfway house and whom Natale testified against, has been talking to veteran actor and screenwriter Leo Rossi about writing a movie about his life. On Friday, Northeast native Rossi confirmed that he has had six phone conversations with Merlino, who he says "has got a great sense of humor. " Rossi says that he and Merlino are both trying to line up financing for a possible biopic about the jailed mob boss.