July 7, 2015 |
Former reputed Philly mob boss Ralph Natale dominated the organized crime scene in the mid 1990s. Now, he's not only telling his story, someone wants to shoot it - instead of him. Natale, who's now in the witness-protection program, reportedly got his start in crime when he took control of Local 170 of the Bartenders, Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Workers Union in Philadelphia in the mid-'70s. In 1979, he got locked up for insurance fraud and peddling cocaine. When he was paroled in 1994, around the time John Stanfa was arrested, Natale became head of one of Philly's most powerful organized crime families.
March 7, 2014 |
BEING THE subject of a Mafia murder contract carries with it a certain distinction. Not that you would be inclined to capitalize on such an honor, not if you were a prominent criminal lawyer like Donald C. Marino, one of the city's busiest attorneys who later became chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. In fact, Marino, who died Monday at age 74, said he didn't know that he was one of the targets of the vengeful mob boss John Stanfa in 1993. Asked by Daily News reporter Kitty Caparella in 1996 if he knew about the contract, Marino replied, "This is the first I'm hearing about this.
February 6, 2014 |
Salvatore J. Avena, 87, of Cinnaminson, the Camden lawyer whose association with ex-Philadelphia mob boss John Stanfa led to his own indictment - and acquittal - on racketeering charges, died Monday, Feb. 3. Edwin Jacobs Jr., an Atlantic County criminal defense lawyer who worked for and won Mr. Avena's acquittal in federal court in Philadelphia in 1996, on Tuesday night confirmed Mr. Avena's death at his home after a long illness. "There was only one Sal," Jacobs said. "He was bigger than life; a hard-hitting, tough, old-time lawyer who gave as good as he got. " Jacobs said Mr. Avena maintained his Camden law practice long after the 1996 federal trial, closing it only last year: "He still represented some old clients.
February 6, 2014 |
SALVATORE J. Avena, a highly regarded South Jersey lawyer for 63 years, specializing in personal injury and criminal cases and as a counselor to police organizations, could not shake his identification in the press as a "mob lawyer. " "It's unfair," said Richard L. Friedman, his partner in a Camden law firm. "I'd say over the years no more than 3 percent of his practice involved mobsters. " But Avena's legal representation of leaders of the Philadelphia-South Jersey organized crime family and his own indictment in 1996 on racketeering and related charges branded him as the lawyer for the mob. And then there was the fact that Avena's father, John "Big Nose" Avena, was a mob boss murdered by rival gang members on Aug. 18, 1936, leading some to a like-father-like-son conclusion.
March 18, 2013 |
Convicted Philadelphia mob hit man John Veasey claims in a CBS News 60 Minutes report to be aired Sunday evening that he's a changed man, driving a church school bus and regularly attending worship services as a born-again Christian in a middle-class suburb. Yet the program observes Veasey, who has married and works as a successful salesman of luxury cars in an undisclosed location in the Midwest, is still exhibiting some of his former underworld bravado. He explains in the program how he instigated a barroom fight that resulted in his guilty plea for misdemeanor battery.
December 14, 2012 |
A 50-year-old man was gunned down on a South Philadelphia street Tuesday afternoon in what police characterized as a mob-related killing. At 2:55, police were called to the 2800 block of South Iseminger Street, where they found Gino DiPietro with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital at 3:21. Witnesses reported that a black Honda SUV fled the scene, police sources said. Police soon found a 2011 Honda Pilot several blocks away, in the 3200 block of South 17th Street.
April 27, 2012 |
SAY WHAT you want about the Philadelphia Mafia, but they have a helluva health-care plan. Mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, for example, had a gold-plated benefits package that came with his no-show position at Top Job Disposal, a South Philly trash company where he "performed no work or productive services," according to a superseding indictment unsealed Thursday. LigambiCare also extended to his relatives, federal prosecutors say. Because what's the point of leading an organized-crime family if you can't spread the wealth around?
February 14, 2012 |
Hit man-turned-government informant John Veasey, whose testimony helped bring down mob boss John Stanfa and a dozen of his top associates in the 1990s, says he's on the road to redemption. And he wants everyone to know it. "I never respected the Mafia or what it stood for," Veasey said in an interview with Philly.com last week. "My only regret was being dumb enough to join . . . I always said they either rat or kill each other. " Veasey has done both. But now, he says, he's a changed man. The outspoken and opinionated former South Philadelphia triggerman popped up on several local radio and television shows last week to talk about The Hit Man: A True Story of Murder, Redemption and the Melrose Diner , an e-book written by former Inquirer reporter Ralph Cipriano and Fox 29's Dave Schratwieser.
January 30, 2012 |
JOE STANFA doesn't want you to read this. He can't make you put down the newspaper or click on another website, but he's worried that continuing on could be bad for business, for his fresh start. "I don't want to scare people away," Stanfa said from behind the counter at Joey Giusepp's, his new pizzeria just off the Schuylkill Expressway, in Grays Ferry. Stanfa is perhaps the only proprietor in Philadelphia who doesn't want you to know about his pizza joint. He'd rather make you a hoagie than talk about the blood that was shed at the same address nearly 20 years ago, or the story behind the scar on his cheek.
December 13, 2011 |
Not for nothing was Tony Soprano a solid-waste management consultant. The writers of the HBO series made New Jersey's most famous, albeit fictitious, wiseguy a player in an industry that for decades has been targeted for exploitation by organized crime. In that respect, Soprano was a "garbage mobster," a term used by the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation in a report made public last week that warned of the mob's continued presence in the multimillion-dollar waste-disposal business.