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

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bent Finger Lou continues testimony during Philadelphia trial

Louis "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello didn't deny that he was cheating on his first wife.

But the mob associate said his business partner, Jack Palermo, was out of line when he told Monacello's wife about it. So he pistol-whipped him, hitting him over the head with the butt of a revolver.

And when another associate lied about $50,000 in gambling debts that he had secretly run up on Monacello, the martial arts trained wiseguy said he "gave him a little kick in the head."

He also acknowledged that he coached three other associates to lie to a Delaware County grand jury that was investigating him in 2008. And that he once told another deadbeat gambler that if he didn't come up with the money he owed, he would be "dead."

Monacello, testifying for the third day in the retrial of mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his nephew George Borgesi, spent most of his time on the witness stand today in a verbal sparring match with Ligambi's lawyer, Edwin Jacobs Jr.

The cross-examination is expected to continue when the trial resume tomorrow.

Monacello, 47, occasionally showed the flashes of bravado and arrogance that were the hallmarks of his testimony during the first trial -- "I'll get back to you on that," he smugly told Jacobs in response to a question that he couldn't answer. But for the most part he was matter-of-fact in his answers and in many cases got to retell the same incriminating stories about the defendants that he had told during a day and a half of direct testimony that ended earlier today.

"These are things that go on in the mob, we're criminals remember?" Monacello said in response to one question from the defense attorney. At another point he said that he had "general authorization" from Borgesi to conduct his often violent business affairs.

This came after Jacobs cited one threat or assault after another that Monacello had admitted to and each time asked if Borgesi had given him permission.

When it came to collecting gambling or loansharking money -- which he testified repeatedly he shared with Borgesi -- Monacello said he had permission to "do what I had to do."

Monacello's testimony, while potentially damaging to Jacobs' client, is the linchpin of the government's case against Borgesi. Borgesi's attorney, Christopher Warren, is expected to launch an equally pointed and caustic cross-examination sometime tomorrow.



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