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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 30, 2014 |
HIS NICKNAME is "Bent Finger Lou. " Philly mobsters call him "Rat Finger Lou" and other unprintable variations. Jurors didn't believe him. One called him a "slimeball. " But if you were in court yesterday, you might have thought that Louis Monacello Jr. and his bent index finger had been canonized over the weekend alongside former popes John Paul II and John XXIII. Monacello, 47, a mob turncoat who once split a guy's head open with a baseball bat and offered cash to have a rival mobster beaten to a pulp, was set free with no additional jail time on racketeering conspiracy and loan-sharking charges.
May 30, 2014 |
A Philadelphia mob soldier convicted this year of running an illegal gambling business that funneled proceeds to La Cosa Nostra was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years in federal prison. Eric Esposito, 43, was sentenced to 27 months, the maximum term suggested under federal sentencing guidelines. Still, the sentence U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno imposed was below the more than three years prosecutors had asked for, saying Esposito had flouted the law. At trial in February, prosecutors alleged Esposito ran the First Ward Republican Club, an after-hours South Philadelphia bar that had little to do with politics but that became a frequent hangout for mobsters and their associates.
November 22, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA It was the evidence that Joseph Ligambi's lawyers didn't want a jury to hear. But in a one-two punch Wednesday, federal prosecutors laid out two of the most contentious elements of their racketeering case against the reputed head of the Philadelphia mob. First, Joaquin Garcia, a former undercover FBI agent who once infiltrated New York's Gambino crime family, regaled jurors with tales of Mafia rituals, violence, and the gangsters with...