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.
May 15, 2014 |
When Anthony Nicodemo was charged with the December 2012 daytime slaying of Gino DiPietro in South Philadelphia, investigators speculated that it might have been a mob hit. Though DiPietro's family insisted that he was not connected to South Philadelphia's Italian organized crime family, Nicodemo, 42, has long been described as a mob soldier, and DiPietro's murder occurred during the federal racketeering trial of mob boss Joseph Ligambi. To the surprise of many observers, Nicodemo's murder trial opened before a Common Pleas Court jury Tuesday with no mention of organized crime, no suggestion of a motive, and the prosecutor contending for the first time that Nicodemo was the driver of the getaway car and not the gunman.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
January 1, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA By 2011, federal agents wanted Louis Monacello locked in a prison cell. His Mafia colleagues wanted him in his grave. Despite those mounting threats, the mob associate known as "Bent Finger Lou" felt confident that he could work even that dire outlook to his benefit, his former neighbor testified Monday. "No matter what happens, he said he was going to get a book deal out of it, or go on TV or something. Other mob guys had done it before," said Jerry Davis, a longtime Philadelphia City Council aide who lived next door to Monacello for years.