January 6, 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 maitre 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. today. 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.
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.
November 8, 2014 |
When the restaurant bearing his name opens Friday, former Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino will be doing what he does best - holding court - as front-door host of the posh Italian spot in Boca Raton, Fla. His lawyers, meanwhile, have turned to a court of a different sort, hoping to keep their client out of prison long enough to see the eatery past its first few weeks. The 52-year-old dapper don, who recently appeared in federal court in a sharp gray suit and purple tie, is due to report Nov. 24 to a South Florida prison to serve out a four-month sentence for a probation violation.
October 29, 2014 |
JOEY MERLINO is headed back to prison again - this time for four months - after a judge ruled yesterday that he violated the terms of his probation from a 2001 racketeering conviction by hanging out with a mob pal at a Florida cigar bar in June. The former Philadelphia mob boss did not seem particularly troubled by that development. Maybe it's because he's already spent nearly a third of his life in prison. Four months is practically a weekend getaway. "I could use a good four months.
October 23, 2014 |
JOEY MERLINO is due back in Philadelphia this week for a probation-violation hearing after a federal judge rejected the cockamamie legal argument presented by the reputed mobster's lawyers. Merlino, 52, who was convicted of racketeering in 2001, was slapped with the violation notice Sept. 2 - four days before his supervised released period was scheduled to end - for allegedly associating with an old mob buddy and two fraudsters at a Florida cigar bar in June. In court earlier this month, Merlino's attorney, Edwin Jacobs Jr., had tried to convince U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick that Merlino was a free man because the government had failed to issue an official summons and set a court date by Sept.
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.
October 10, 2014 |
FEDERAL prosecutors yesterday called it "laughable" that Joey Merlino would suggest that his run-in this year with three convicted felons - including a co-defendant in his 2001 racketeering trial - was just a "chance encounter. " Such an idea is "belied by evidence," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Troyer wrote in a court filing. "Skinny Joey," 52, the former Philly mob boss - or current boss-in-exile, some law-enforcement officials say - is due in federal court in Philly tomorrow to answer the government's allegations that he knowingly associated with mobster John Ciancaglini and two guys with fraud convictions at Havana Nights Cigar Bar & Lounge in Boca Raton, Fla. The government also says that Merlino, who now lives in Boca Raton, has not fully paid $337,943 in court-ordered restitution and failed to comply with a request for information during a May financial deposition.
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.