February 19, 2015 |
WHO'S really in charge of the Philly mob? For the past few years, the answer might've depended on where you looked or whom you asked. Prosecutors. FBI agents. Street word. Underworld informants. Beat cops. Wiretapped conversations. Gamblers. Defense attorneys who will look you in the eye and swear that the Mafia ain't real. Some say Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, 75, still runs the show. The low-key acting boss returned to Packer Park a year ago after spending 32 months in federal custody through two racketeering trials on a 2011 indictment.
December 15, 2014 |
Roy Scarfo, 88, of Downingtown, an artist whose illustrations of outer space captured the imagination of Americans from the 1960s on, died Monday, Dec. 8, of pancreatic cancer at the VA Medical Center in Coatesville. Mr. Scarfo's first illustrations came to the attention of the public in 1957 when they were published by his employer, General Electric. He spent 16 years as creative art director for GE's Space Technology Center, which opened in 1961 in Valley Forge. At the same time, he became a space art consultant and illustrator for Sun Co., NASA, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Senate, and others.
July 21, 2014 |
When FBI agents knocked on the door of his home just before sunrise Nov. 1, 2011, in Chappaqua, N.Y., a wealthy suburb north of Manhattan, David Adler's nightmare was just beginning. As his wife and two children looked on, Adler was marched out of the house, handcuffed and placed in a car, and then driven to the federal courthouse in Camden. There, the bookish securities lawyer with thinning gray hair and rimless spectacles was charged with conspiring with a group led by mobster Nicodemo Scarfo, son of the infamous former mob boss, to take control of a Texas finance company and then loot it of millions.
July 5, 2014 |
Six months after they walked into the courthouse on a below-freezing January day, 12 jurors convicted reputed mobster Nicodemo Scarfo, associate Salvatore Pelullo, and two Texas mortgage company employees in a multimillion-dollar corporate scheme that will send the men to prison for decades. The trial involved thousands of exhibits, hundreds of FBI wiretapped conversations, and testimony over the course of months. The prosecution's aim was to prove that the men, along with three attorneys, looted First Plus Financial and defrauded shareholders of $12 million to benefit themselves and the Lucchese crime family.
June 19, 2014 |
After nearly six months of testimony and an exhausting presentation of bank documents, wiretap recordings, and PowerPoint slides, the mortgage-fraud trial involving Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., son of jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, is headed to jurors. Scarfo and alleged mob associate Salvatore Pelullo are charged with taking over the Texas-based FirstPlus Financial mortgage company and looting its shareholders of $12 million. A former CEO of the company and four lawyers who worked with the men were also charged.
April 19, 2014 |
CAMDEN The meeting at a North Jersey bar was convened to set things straight. Contrary to rumors bouncing around the Philadelphia-New Jersey mob world, Pete "the Crumb" Caprio did not have a hit out on Nicodemo S. Scarfo, son of the jailed, infamous mob boss. "If it was so, I said you would have been gone a long time ago," said Caprio to an associate in a secretly taped conversation of the meeting. The February 2000 recording - by mob associate and government informant Philip "Philly Fay" Casale - was played for jurors and dissected by lawyers Thursday in Scarfo's FirstPlus mortgage fraud trial, well into its fourth month.
March 29, 2014 |
CAMDEN In more than three hours of testimony spread over two days, the former chief executive of a mortgage company said that a group allegedly led by reputed mobsters made false accusations to seize control of his firm. Dan Phillips, 64, was CEO of Texas-based FirstPlus Financial Group until 2007, when he and the company's board of directors relinquished control to an investment group. That group, prosecutors said, was made up of lawyers and other individuals working under the direction of Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., son of jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, and alleged mob associate Salvatore Pelullo.
February 1, 2014 |
CAMDEN A veteran reporter who has covered organized crime in Philadelphia and South Jersey for more than 40 years will be permitted to watch a white-collar mob trial despite his name's appearing on the witness list, a federal judge ruled Thursday. George Anastasia, who wrote for The Inquirer until October 2012, was put on the defense's witness list in State v. Scarfo et al. The federal case alleges that reputed mobster Nicodemo Scarfo, son of jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo Jr., and an associate, Salvatore Pelullo, along with several attorneys, orchestrated a racketeering scheme netting them millions.
January 10, 2014 |
FRANK FRIEL was good at putting away the bad guys. But when he saw someone he believed had been wrongly convicted of a crime, he forgot about the cops' unwritten rule that you don't second-guess police work. Friel - who as a Philadelphia homicide investigator was credited with smashing the Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo mob and putting away literally hundreds of killers over 28 years on the force - couldn't believe that Neil Ferber, an undistinguished furniture dealer who got a kick out of hanging out with criminals, was a cold-blooded killer.
January 10, 2014 |
CAMDEN A federal prosecutor on Wednesday outlined the case against reputed mobsters charged with a massive racketeering scheme he claims looted $12 million from a Texas-based financial company. "This is a case about lying, cheating, and stealing," Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Wiener said. "They lined their pockets with the millions they stole and cost shareholders millions. " Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., 45, son of jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, is charged along with alleged mob associate Salvatore Pelullo in a 25-count indictment.