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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Philadelphia boss Skinny Joey Merlino predicts victory at his trial along with a Eagles Super Bowl win

A Philly mob boss accused of illegal gambling — and a slew of other ​charges — offered great odds for his own ​racketeering ​trial Monday, and couldn’t resist throwing in another hot tip for good measure.
“Deadlock win, all the way,” Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, told The Post inside a Manhattan federal courtroom after jury selection wrapped up.
“Oh, and bet the Eagles.”
The wise guy, 55, also faces charges of racketeering, conspiracy and medical fraud in addition to the gambling rap, which stems from an illicit Yonkers gambling den he allegedly helped run.
The famously natty dresser — who’d previously tried to get his trial moved to his hometown — came ​to court ​in a sharp suit offset with less conventional red bracelets with gold beads on his wrists, which he said were for luck.
“A friend of mine got them for me. It’s good, y’know, they’re red. It keeps the horns off you,” Merlino said while making devil horns with his hand.
Skinny Joey spent more than a decade behind bars for racketeering, gambling, assault and weapons convictions, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer — but now claims to be a legitimate businessman in Boca Raton, Fla​.​, where until recently he ran a restaurant called Merlino’s that served his mom’s recipes.
“Too many rats,” he told the website Big Trial in 2013 of his decision to leave his old life behind. “I want no part of that.”
His trial will kick off Tuesday, with an appearance by star witness Peter “Pug” Lovaglio — an alleged Bonanno capo-turned-rat who flipped after he was busted smashing a Staten Island sushi lounge owner with a cocktail glass.
Merlino was convicted of racketeering based on gambling, loansharking and receipt-of-stolen-property charges. But the jury in that 2001 trial ruled that the government had failed to prove drug dealing, murder and attempted murder charges that also were part of the case.
Over the years, Merlino has been accused of orchestrating or participating in nearly a dozen gangland hits or attempted hits. He has never been convicted.



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