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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feds say Colombo family prince might be fooling around with his lawyer



A PRINCE of the Colombo crime family may have found his princess — but she will have to get him off the hook on murder charges if he wants to live happily ever after.
Federal prosecutors confronted reputed mob associate Michael Persico last week on allegations he’s romantically involved with his defense lawyer, legal eagle knockout Sarita Kedia.
Persico, 55, the suave, soft-spoken scion of Colombo crime boss Carmine "The Snake" Persico, goes on trial next month in Brooklyn Federal Court charged with racketeering, murder and extortion.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicole Argentieri and Allon Lifshitz filed a letter under seal to Judge Sandra Townes in which they revealed that underworld informants claim Persico and his comely counsel are an item.
“If such a romantic relationship exists between you and your attorney, that relationship could potentially affect her decision-making and her representation in this case,” Townes said, according to a transcript of a May 11 court hearing obtained by the Daily News.
“In other words, her professional judgment, the government argues, could be affected by her emotional feelings for you,” Townes explained.
Townes did not ask the attorney and her client directly if they’re an item — but Kedia didn’t exactly deny it.

 Michael Persico and his attorney Sarita Kedia leaving Brooklyn Federal Court on March 22nd, 2012.
“I can absolutely assure the court that I do not have or have I ever had any relationship with Mr. Persico that would in any way compromise my professional responsibility in representing him in his own best interest,” she told the judge.
Persico, a Brooklyn businessman, also told the judge he wants to keep Kedia on his defense team.
Kedia has represented him since his March 2010 arrest and fought all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals to get him released on $5 million bail.
Previously, she defended Michael’s older brother, former Colombo acting boss Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico, who was convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence.
Sources told The News the feds do not have proof the couple are lovers, but wanted to deal with the issue before trial so it does not become an appealable issue if Persico is convicted of the 1992 gangland killing of then-underboss Joseph Scopo.
Kedia fired back at the government, calling its actions “unprofessional” and “reprehensible.”
“Michael Persico is a client and a friend. But the government’s allegation that I have a personal relationship or concern that could affect my representation is not only false, it’s desperate,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.


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