April 9, 2016 |
Federal authorities charged a pioneer in the multibillion-dollar payday-loan industry Thursday in the Justice Department's latest and largest case aimed at stifling abusive lenders who have evaded state and federal regulation with stunning efficiency. Prosecutors allege that Charles M. Hallinan - a 75-year-old former investment banker, a Wharton School graduate, and a Main Line resident - dodged each new law meant to stifle usurious loans by paying established banks and Native American tribes to serve as fronts for his loan companies.
January 26, 2014 |
For the first time in 13 years, George Borgesi, the Philadelphia mob's former consigliere, left the James A. Byrne federal courthouse Friday unencumbered by handcuffs and hand in hand with the woman he married while behind bars. Borgesi had been found not guilty. Hours earlier, a jury acquitted the 50-year-old known as "Georgie Boy" on one count of racketeering conspiracy and said it was hopelessly deadlocked on three of four counts facing his uncle and codefendant, reputed mob boss Joseph Ligambi.
February 15, 2013
A federal judge set a Feb. 25 bail hearing Thursday for reputed mob boss Joseph Ligambi after a jury acquitted him of some charges and deadlocked on others. U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno set the date a day after Ligambi's lawyer, Edwin Jacobs, argued in a motion that Ligambi, 73, has been jailed for nearly two years, having been held awaiting trial. On Feb. 5, jurors convicted four of his codefendants on five counts, but returned not-guilty verdicts on 46 other counts and deadlocked on 11 more, including the key racketeering count against the alleged mob boss.
November 21, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA A day after Pennsylvania lawmakers moved to open the door for legal small-scale gambling in bars, Philadelphia mob figure George Borgesi posed what to him seemed an obvious question. "So what are we doing here?" he asked a reporter Tuesday during a break from his retrial on racketeering conspiracy charges. Tapping a newspaper story on the state's proposed gaming expansion with one hand and gesturing to his codefendant and uncle, Joseph Ligambi, with the other, the 50-year-old added: "That's what they want to lock him up for. " Well, not exactly.
December 19, 2013 |
FOLLOW THE money, right? Depending on who's talking, the money flow could appear shady or innocent. During the federal racketeering conspiracy retrial of reputed Philly mob boss Joseph Ligambi, 74, and his nephew, onetime mob consigliere George Borgesi, 50, jurors yesterday looked at two charts showing fund disbursements to a reputed mob leader, Anthony "Ant" Staino Jr., and to Ligambi's wife, Olivia Ligambi. The money came from JMA Industries Inc., for which Staino filed an application for a fictitious name in 2001 with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
September 17, 2012 |
PHILLY WISEGUY Gaeton Lucibello was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison Friday for his role in a racketeering and extortion scheme with the local La Cosa Nostra. Lucibello, 59, pleaded guilty in August and admitted assisting in shaking down a bookie for "street tax" payments and operating two illegal video-poker machines as part of a racketeering conspiracy. He was one of the 14 Philly mob members and associates charged with racketeering conspiracy, extortion, loan sharking, illegal gambling, witness tampering and theft in a 52-count indictment.
January 29, 2014 |
A Philadelphia judge denied a bail request Monday for reputed mob associate Ronald Galati, who is being held on charges that he ordered the killings of three men. Galati, 63, who worked at a South Philadelphia auto-body shop, has been held without bail since his arrest Dec. 13. He is accused of ordering the murder of a rival auto-body-shop owner and that man's son for allegedly cooperating with authorities investigating possible insurance fraud...
February 26, 2013 |
A North Jersey mobster, who admitted to participating in the affairs of Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced today to a 55 month term in federal prison. Louis "Big Lou" Fazzini, 45, pleaded guilty in October to a racketeering conspiracy charge linked to a mob-controlled gambling and loan-sharking operation. A self-described "made" member of the mob, Fazzini, of Caldwell, operated a sports bookmaking business and ran a social club in northern New Jersey where illegal gambling on card and dice games occurred regularly.
October 6, 2012 |
This story has been updated to reflect that Fazzini has pleaded guilty. Louis "Big Lou" Fazzini, a North Jersey mobster charged with racketeering, has decided to take his chances with the sentencing judge rather than put his fate in the hands of a federal jury. Fazzini, 45, pleaded guilty Friday morning before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno in Philadelphia. Fazzini had pleaded not guilty this year to a racketeering conspiracy charge linked to a mob-controlled gambling and loan-sharking operation.
June 10, 2011 |
ROCCO MANISCALCO had reason to wear a bulletproof vest. Two reasons, actually. The South Philly auto-body-shop owner was a bookie on the side, and he was tangling with a trio of drug dealers who refused to pay on a $60,000 sports bet, according to his family. They were threatening violence if he didn't back off. And the mob was trying to shake him down for "protection money" that he didn't intend to pay, his sister says. For five months beginning in late 2009, Maniscalco, 38, stayed close to his Wolf Street home, donning the bulletproof vest and cloaking himself in hoodies when he ventured out - or sometimes sleeping elsewhere to throw off spies he'd seen watching him. But as the weather warmed, his vigilance waned.