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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Mistrial declared for Skinny Joey Merlino after jury is deadlocked

Reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino slipped through the feds’ fingers Tuesday when the jury at his racketeering trial announced it was hopelessly deadlocked despite four days of deliberations.
Manhattan federal Judge Richard Sullivan declared a mistrial at 5:30 p.m., more than seven hours after giving jurors a sternly worded “Allen charge” to try to end the stalemate the panel first revealed in a note late Thursday afternoon.
Merlino, 55, faced four charges tied to alleged loan-sharking, bookmaking and health care fraud conspiracies.
The feds say the schemes were part of a sprawling, cross-crime-family racket from Springfield, Massachusetts, to South Florida, where Merlino moved following his release from prison in 2011 and was the matire d’ at a short-lived, namesake Italian restaurant, Merlino’s, in Boca Raton.
His trial featured stunning testimony about how the FBI, through an informant, paid the tab for more than 20 mobsters to attend a 2014 Christmas party at Pasquale’s Rigoletto restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
The gangsters — including eatery owner and reputed Genovese crime-family capo, Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello — were all busted two years later in a massive roundup of 46 alleged Mafia members and associates.
The mob rat who arranged the party, John “Junior” Rubeo, also alleged from the witness stand that Merlino cheated on his wife with a pharmaceutical saleswoman amid an insurance scam involving $1,500-a-tube prescription pain cream.
Rubeo dropped the bombshell claim without warning under cross-examination by Merlino’s defense lawyer — and while Merlino’s wife was sitting in the courtroom gallery.
Deborah Merlino’s face froze in shock upon hearing the humiliating testimony, and her hubby tried in vain to cover up his alleged affair, telling a Post reporter outside court, “Don’t put the girl in” the paper’s coverage of the proceedings.



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