October 13, 2014 |
JOEY MERLINO is crossing Market Street wearing a pair of oversized aviator sunglasses on an overcast day. Dark suit, dark tan. A copious amount of gel keeps his slicked-back hair locked in place, but the orange-and-blue floral tie keeps you guessing. You don't know whether he's going to shake your hand, punch you in the mouth or buy your family a Thanksgiving turkey. The 30-something gangster they used to call "Skinny Joey" on Passyunk Avenue in the 1990s is now a muscular 52-year-old who actually looks like the ruthless mob boss that prosecutors have described in past indictments.
December 24, 1999 |
Where are you, Joey Merlino? The lonesome children cry for you at Christmastime. Merlino, the "Skinny Joey" of mob legend, is usually busy this time of year, planning parties for children and other needy folk who eagerly await his largesse. But Joey is behind bars and can't play Santa this year. Yesterday, the reputed head of the Philadelphia-South Jersey mob, pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of racketeering and conspiracy in connection with a $1.3 million theft ring.
January 5, 2015 |
IS JOEY MERLINO still the head of the Philadelphia mob? He says no. The feds aren't so sure. But few can argue with this: He's probably the only maître d' in the country who can do a four-month prison stint and still have a job waiting for him when he returns. Merlino, 52, must report to a federal detention center in Miami at 2 p.m. Monday. A Philadelphia judge ruled in October that he had violated the terms of his supervised release on a 2001 racketeering conviction by associating with an old mob pal at a cigar bar in June.
November 23, 2014 |
BOCA RATON, Fla. - A woman took Joseph Merlino's hand and towed him across the marble floor to her friends, who fussed over him, cooing. "The veal parmiagana! Fabulous!" somebody else told the maitre d' of the hot new Italian restaurant in South Florida that bears the family name. He had stopped to ask how they liked everything. "Loved the cheesecake," a woman said. "Is that your mother's recipe?" And so it went on a drizzly Friday night in the land of perpetual valet parking as the reputed former boss of the Philadelphia mob darted around the room, greeting diners.
October 8, 2014 |
SINCE HIS RELEASE from federal prison in 2011, Joey Merlino has been working hard, keeping his nose clean and making monthly restitution payments. He even volunteered with a group that trains teachers who work with children with autism. But he did not violate his probation. That's what Merlino's lawyers, Edwin Jacobs Jr. and Michael F. Myers, wrote in a legal memo filed yesterday, claiming that Merlino has "scrupulously abided" by the terms of his supervised release while living in Florida.
November 19, 2014 |
FORMER Philly mob boss Joey Merlino will have time to perfect his "Gnocchi Mamma Rita" and "Veal South Philly" at his new Boca Raton, Fla., restaurant, Merlino's, and can enjoy his holidays in the Sunshine State. Although a federal judge in Philadelphia has denied Merlino's request to postpone his four-month prison sentence pending his appeal to the Third Circuit, the judge allowed Merlino to push back the day when he must report to prison. U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick, in an order signed Friday and made public yesterday, said Merlino won't have to start his prison sentence next week, as originally ordered, but must begin it Jan. 5. Surrick last month ruled that Merlino had violated the terms of his supervised release on a 2001 racketeering conviction by meeting with a member of the Philly crime family, John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini, in a Boca Raton cigar bar in June.
March 6, 1997 |
This is the New Mob - la clothestree nostra. The new look, which made a dashing appearance in the spectators' seats at the recent retrial of old mobsters Nicky Scarfo and friends, does not go in for the traditional white ties with black shirts. It doesn't favor the old family's look of overly pleated pants, flashy double-breasted suits or soft-sided Italian loafers. And it wouldn't be caught dead in one of those nylon warm-up suits, the outfit known by mob-watching cops as "the South Philly tuxedo.
May 6, 2010 |
ATLANTIC CITY - His father, the late Lawrence "Yogi" Merlino, was a notorious mob capo and hit man who became a government witness. His cousin Joseph S. "Skinny Joey" Merlino was a South Philadelphia celebrity mob boss, now serving a 14-year federal prison sentence. And for the last 20 years, Joseph N. Merlino has been trying to convince casino gambling regulators here that those bloodlines don't define him, that despite the gossip, rumor, and innuendo he is neither a mobster nor a mob associate.
December 1, 1996 |
Joey Merlino says he just wants to operate his coffee and cigar shop in peace. And go out for drinks with his friends. And watch his infant daughter grow up. And bet on football games. The simple life, that's what the reputed mob underboss mob says he's after. "I don't bother nobody, I don't want nobody to bother me," Merlino, 34, said in a rare interview last week, one day after his annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless attracted a media horde and drew criticism about his motives from law enforcement quarters.