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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 9, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA It might be considered the low-budget sequel. But reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Ligambi and the federal authorities who have pursued him for 13 years both hope this time brings blockbuster results. Ligambi, known as "Uncle Joe," returned to court Thursday for his second trial in as many years on racketeering conspiracy charges. His nephew and alleged consigliere, George "Georgie Boy" Borgesi, sat by his side. Eight months ago, a federal jury deadlocked on the most serious counts against them after a marathon, four-month trial involving 12 other mob defendants.
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.