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

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Turncoat Genovese associate could wind up back in jail for bragging on podcast

John Rubeo
 Loose lips sink mob informants, too.

A chatty Mafia turncoat witness will learn next month whether a recent podcast confessional will return him to prison after admitting Wednesday to three probation violations linked to his incriminating interview with two ex-mobsters.

One-time Genovese family associate John Rubeo, who testified against reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, could face up to five years behind bars after acknowledging his unapproved oversharing during a September appearance on the “Johnny and Gene” show.

Rubeo, 45, acknowledged that he failed to truthfully answer inquiries from his probation officer, associated with convicted felons on the podcast and communicated with those same felons without contacting his probation officer.

The defendant could face up to five years in prison, with a guideline range of 3-to-9 months, at his scheduled Jan. 19 resentencing for violating parole, said Manhattan Federal Court Judge Richard Sullivan.

The judge could alternatively impose an additional period of supervised release for the gangster who bragged about continuing his lucrative illegal income while working undercover for the feds.

“I was committing more crimes when I was working for them than when I was on the street,” bragged Rubeo during his visit to the show co-hosted by ex-Gambino family associate John Alite and former Bonnano associate Gene Borrello. “And they were paying me $15,000 a month.”

Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino is seen leaving Manhattan Federal Court Feb. 20, 2018.
Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino is seen leaving Manhattan Federal Court Feb. 20, 2018. 

Rubeo received a sweetheart sentence of 15 months in jail for his cooperation, but an irate Sullivan demanded answers after Rubeo ran his mouth for 85 minutes on the podcast — even confessing that he destroyed evidence in the Merlino case.

The Philly mob boss, after a hung jury in his first trial, took a plea deal and a 2-year jail term in 2018. He’s currently back on the street.

Sullivan noted during the Wednesday court session that Rubeo bragged during recent social media exchanges about a continued upscale lifestyle after cutting his deal to become an informant. In one, he referenced ownership of a Range Rover and a Mercedes, and in another offered a hefty wager that he would pass a drug test.

“One thing I was interested in ... was a post from Rubeo in which he boasts about his Mercedes and his ability to bet $100,000 on things,” said Sullivan. “It’s troubling because at the time of the violations, he hadn’t yet paid his $80,000 (court-ordered) forfeiture.”

A sentencing date of Jan. 19 was set for Rubeo. Defense attorney in court papers proposed a possible sentence of home detention for the remainder of their client’s supervised release.

Rubeo told the judge that he was subjected to a barrage of social media hate, including a death threat from a former close associate of Merlino.

“This is just terrible to me,” he said.



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