May 11, 2013 |
Relationships are tricky, but some rules of dating go unsaid. Don't wait to tell your new girlfriend that you're a mob informer who spent 12 years in prison for murder and racketeering. And never, ever threaten to smash her head with a hammer. Roger Vella Jr. failed on both counts. First he lost the girl, then his freedom. Vella, whose cooperation against the Philadelphia branch of La Cosa Nostra was once hailed as "remarkable" by a prosecutor, was sent back to prison last week after stalking the ex-girlfriend and failing to get permission to travel.
February 8, 2013 |
GEORGIE is not happy. Neither is his mother, Manny. Or his burly bro Anthony, who looks ready to throw down even on a good day. The whole Borgesi clan is irate - because George isn't coming home, as they'd expected. "F---in' punk," George Borgesi barked at Assistant U.S. Attorney John Han, who argued successfully on Wednesday to have the onetime mob consigliere kept in prison even though prosecutors failed to secure a single conviction against him following a trial that began in mid-October.
December 12, 2012 |
PHILIP "CRAZY PHIL" Leonetti learned to shoot a gun at age 10 and says that he participated in the same number of gangland murders under the twisted tutelage of his crazier uncle, mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo. That much Leonetti has admitted in court. But in his new tell-all book - and what mafioso worth his salt doesn't cap an illustrious career with a book deal these days? - the former underboss of the Philadelphia-South Jersey mob in the 1980s breaks 16 years of silence to reveal how he came "very close" to whacking the last guy anyone would have expected.
December 11, 2012
EX-MOB underboss Philip Leonetti's book, Mafia Prince: Inside America's Most Violent Crime Family and the Bloody Fall of La Cosa Nostra , was published Tuesday by Running Press. Retail price is $24, but it can be found on Amazon for as little as $14.66. The book was cowritten by Scott Burnstein, a true-crime author and staff reporter for the Oakland Press , and Christopher Graziano, a freelance journalist and mob historian. It's an eye-opening look at life inside the Philadelphia-South Jersey mob during the 1980s.
May 4, 2012 |
It's an 83-page racketeering indictment designed to cripple the Philadelphia mob, but the U.S. Attorney's Office is playing a last-minute game of who's-the-boss while 14 defendants are awaiting trial. When Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi was busted last year, the indictment described him as a "made" member of the city's La Cosa Nostra family who "rose through its ranks to become its underboss, then acting boss, and then, after the incarceration of his predecessor Joseph Merlino, the boss of the Enterprise.
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 29, 2012 |
E VEN AS Joey Merlino was settling into a South Florida halfway house last summer after 12 years in prison, the FBI issued a confidential alert warning law-enforcement officials that the former Philadelphia mob boss might try to set up shop in the Miami area with some of his old associates. The memo was contained in the first batch of some five million emails being released by the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks - including several FBI alerts obtained by a Texas-based private-intelligence firm on topics ranging from biker gangs to al Qaeda's English-language website.
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 20, 2011 |
DON'T WORRY ABOUT me, judge. Those Philly wiseguys wouldn't lay a hand on me. I'm untouchable. That's basically what Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., son of former Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, told U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler in Camden yesterday. And it worked. Scarfo, 46, an alleged made member of New York's Lucchese crime family awaiting trial on corporate-fraud charges in New Jersey, will be removed from a protective unit at the federal lockup at 7th and Arch streets.
September 2, 2011 |
RALPH NATALE has always been a talker. In 1994, after doing 15 years in prison on drug-dealing and arson charges, he talked himself into bed with a hot blonde half his age - his daughter's best friend - with empty promises of a better life and a yarn about his 62-year-old wife's ailing health. While he was boss of the Philadelphia mob, the FBI secretly recorded Natale talking about sketchy business deals, insubordinate underlings, a proposed Atlantic City strip club with "the finest broads" and his hatred for government informants who rat on fellow Mafia members.