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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Turncoat Genovese gangster testifies against Philadelphia boss Skinny Joey Merlino


Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino’s courtroom claim that he gave up his role as Philly’s leading mob boss didn’t carry much weight with Wednesday’s witness.

John Rubeo, an admitted gangster who worked with the Genovese family, testified in Manhattan Federal Court that Merlino was always a major underworld player — despite his attorneys’ claims he’d left the game for good.

Federal authorities say that Merlino, 55, helped orchestrate a criminal enterprise that ran from Springfield, Mass. to South Florida.

The crime boss was arrested in August 2016 in a sweep that nabbed some four dozen alleged mobsters.

Merlino’s lawyers have sought to paint the reputed gangster as a man with a serious gambling problem who was only talking to Rubeo about borrowing cash.

After Merlino got out of federal lock up in 2011 — when he did time on different charges — he decamped to South Florida rather than return to Philadelphia, his lawyers said.

Federal authorities say that Merlino, 55, helped orchestrate a criminal enterprise that ran from Springfield, Mass. to South Florida.

There, he wanted to live in peace with his family and four dogs, according to defense attorneys.

But Rubeo said in his testimony Wednesday that the former South Philly boss “did a couple money-making schemes together. We became friends.”

The two met in 2013 while Rubeo was working as federal informant, he told the court room.

He was charged with recording his converstations with alleged mobsters — and gangland gossip implicated Merlino as big figure.

“He was the boss of the Philadelphia crime family,” some of Rubio’s underworld associates told him, he told the court.

Rubeo rose through the ranks of the Genovese family as a crime figure himself.

But his progress stopped in 2011 when he was collared for allegedly dealing coke.

Rubeo admitted on the stand that he became a rat for self-serving reasons.

“I didn’t want to go to jail,” he answered, when asked what prompted his decision to act as an informant.

Merlino’s lawyers have criticized the credibility of Rubeo and other witnesses, claiming that they’re trying to save themselves at the expense of their client.



  1. There all rats how do u trust these fly by night Guys you just met in 2013 makes no sense.

  2. You have to realize if you are IN that business you eventually have to trust.

    Also, I am sure that him showing the boys back in Philly, that he is aligned with and has the backing of the Genovese family, he is effectively solidifying his position.

    "Joey is so tight with the WESTSIDE they transferred guys under him".

    Also, Rubeo was around the West side for many many years.

    So they vouched for Rubio, it is a necessary evil in that business.

  3. Also, you have to look at it this way because Joey is such a target

    Would he be better off bringing heat to guys he only did health fraud with and gambling, all b.s. I know they tied it into a Rico so even b.s. is big deal.

    However, if you ever WANT to fight a case this.is ur case.

    Also, if he would have just went and stayed back in Philly, the feds would be trying flip guys that he has bodies with that if they flip he is MORTA....

    The best move is retire but that's all these guys know some guys just can't they are addicted.

    1. I dont know whos more pathetic. This reject asshole wannabe mobster or the feds that cant put such a dumbfuck away. How the fuck you going to trust someone you just met. Fucking italians all you care is about money now you feel why you shld only let people that made their bones around instead of being money grabbing bitches.

  4. Guys definitely getting made too easy these days

  5. The best business these days is the weed business u could bring truck loads making millions it’s a hot commodity and when u get popped it’s only 2 years in a low security federal prison. Then u get out and he done with a few million stashed.