Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gambling At Heart Of Philadelphia Mob Indictment

Philadelphia crime familyPhilly Boss Joe Ligambi Philadelphia mob, as bail hearings are set to start on Wednesday.

Some of Philadelphia's top mobsters will be back in court on Wednesday as they try to gain their freedom after a big mob takedown by the FBI.

The takedown early on Monday went after 13 wise guys and associates. They're charged with racketeering, gambling, extortion and loan sharking.
Threats of violence and past criminal history could keep the accused mobsters behind bars until their trials.
And it's all over money.
A federal indictment even alleges that the wife of mob boss Joe Ligambi got some of the criminal proceeds. She was not charged in the case.
Fox 29's Dave Schratwieser says the case is all about greed and for these mob guys, that could translate into serious jail time.
Most of the crimes charged in this indictment stem from illegal video poker machines and gambling.
When state and federal investigators swooped down and scooped up nearly 100 illegal video poker machines in two raids over the past five years, they went right for the local mob's financial lifeline.
On Monday, those raids finally took out the hierarchy of the local mob.
Former federal prosecutor Barry Gross says it's illegal video poker and gambling, fueled by loan sharking and extortion that makes the mob go round. Those machines are money in the bank.
"People put money in and you take the money home at the end of the day," Gross says.
Illegal video poker runs throughout the entire case. The indictment says even mob boss Joe Ligambi couldn't resist.

He allegedly started a company with sidekick Joseph "Mousie" Massimino and underboss Anthony Staino. JMA Industries, named for the mob trio, and it actually handed out paychecks and W-2s. The indictment says illegal proceeds even went to Ligambi's wife.
Attorneys for the indicted mobsters say the wise guys don't seem worried because without mob murders in this case, long prison sentences are unlikely.
But mob watchers say some of these defendants may have a hard time doing 10 to 20 years especially those who have been in prison before.
The government filed almost identical motions today to hold the defendants in prison until their trials.
These bail hearings go on all week and Ligambi's will come on Thursday.
As the head of the local mob, his release seems unlikely, so there may be a new local mob head by next week.
Three key names were not in the federal indictment: former boss Joey Merlino, one-time underboss Steven Mazzone and mob captain John Ciancagilini.
Merlino is just out of jail and in a Florida halfway house, while Mazzone and Ciancagilni are just off probation.
The Inquirer's George Anastasia says Merlino favored Mazzone as acting boss, while Ligambi favored Ciancagilni.
"I think all three of these guys could fill the void, if they were of a mind," Anastasia said. "I don't see a conflict between Mazzone and Ciancagilni. … I think you'll see these guys running an organization with [Merlino] calling the shots from Florida, if that's the way they want it to work."



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