Feds want to revoke Joey Merlino’s probation


Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino the former boss of the Philadelphia mafia is set to come off of supervised probation in a matter of days but the feds are trying to change that. Merlino could be heading back to prison for violating the terms of his supervised release back in June of this year. He is prohibited from associating with organized crime figures or any convicted felons. But on June 18 the feds conducted surveillance of Merlino meeting with ex-cons down in Boca Raton.


joey merlino

“Joey Merlino”


He met with Philly mafia captain John Ciancaglini and two other men identified as Brad Sirkin and Frank Fiore both also with criminal records. The foursome had dinner at an Italian restaurant and then had drinks in the Havana Nights Cigar Bar & Lounge VIP area according to court documents. It is still unclear as to why the feds were doing surveillance on Merlino or the late night meeting.


Authorities also claim Merlino also committed another parole violation back in May when he refused to answer some questions about one of his business transactions asked by his supervision monitors. The former mafia boss has sworn off the mob life since getting out of prison. Many believe he could still be the head of the mob in Philly calling the shots from Florida with his old crew controlling things on the streets back home.


Many wondered if he would make a return to Philadelphia once his supervised probation has ended and take back control of the La Cosa Nostra family hands on. But rumors are that Joey has plans to open up a high end Italian restaurant down in Boca and go straight making it possibly his permant home. If the feds can make these probation violations stick his plans what ever they were would be changing.



Joey Merlino going straight down in Boca with new restaurant ?


Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino has been the topic of discussion when it come to the Philadelphia mafia since his release from prison back in 2012 after serving 14 years. The former boss of the Philly mob has been in Boca Raton since his release on supervised release which ends next month. He has been rumored to still be the head of the mob family in Philly and many have speculated he could return once his supervised release ended and he was free of any stipulations. Merlino has maintained since he was released that his life in the mafia was over and he was out of the life one reason being as he stated “there were too many rats around”.


skinny joey merlino

“Joey Merlino”


Now it seems Merlino may be staying down in Boca instead of returning to Philadelphia and maybe getting into to the restaurant business. Sources in Boca are reporting that former mob boss Skinny Joey and a group of investors are planning to open a high end Italian style place. It is still unconfirmed and neither Merlino or his attorney have commented on or confirmed the business venture. No information is yet available as to a name but rumors of the location being  39 SE First Avenue in Boca have surfaced.


Merlino making Boca his permanent home and getting into the restaurant business may be a clear sign that he is out if the mob life and the Philly mob is moving on with out him. But many believe he may still be pulling the strings from down in sunny Florida while members of his old crew including alleged acting boss Steven Mazzone handle things on the streets.


But it seems like a return to Philly may not be part of Merlino’s plans and maybe age and wisdom has convinced him that its time to get out while he still can. Besides it doesn’t seem like there is all that much left of the Philly mafia to be worth fighting for and with old Scarfo era mobsters back on streets there could be even more competition for control of that shrinking pie.


Feds hope to flip Philly mafia associate Ronald Galati


Ronald Galati has been charged with murder solicitation and insurance fraud and the feds hope the severity of those charges may influence him to flip. Although he is not a made man in the Philadelphia mafia Galati has long had mob ties and was known to welcome mobsters pack from prison with jobs at his garage. He is accused of ordering a failed hit attempt on Andrew Tuono and staging bogus car wreck scene’s to defraud various insurance companies. He was convicted back in the 1990′s for insurance fraud charges but kept quiet and did his time.


ronald galati


According to a grand jury witness against him Galati was quoted as saying “I live my life to cheat insurance companies. My high every day is to cheat insurance companies”. The three hit men he allegedly hired for the Tuono hit Jerome Johnson, Alvin Matthews, and Ronald Walker are believed to now be cooperating with authorities. It would seem that the deck is definitely not stacked in Galati’s favor would be decide to go to trial.


Prosecutors claim he has close ties to high ranking Philly mob members like Joseph Ligambi , Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, and George Borgesi among others. These close friendships definitely make him a target for the feds to turn especially now that he faces such stiff charges with what seems like a solid amount of evidence. Ligambi’s son was also one of the men charged along with Ronald in the 69 count indictment.



Retrial for Philly mobster Anthony Nicodemo wont happen until next year


Anthony Nicodemo a reputed Philadelphia mafia soldier won’t have his retrial on murder charges until some time in 2015 after a new pretrial conference was scheduled for December 1 during a recent status conference. An exact date for the retrial has yet to be decided on but should be set sometime during or after the pretrial conference. Nicodemo is charged with the 2012 murder of Gino DiPietro who was gunned down in broad daylight in South Philly. The original trial ended in a mistrial with multiple jurors being dismissed and rumors and speculation of possible jury tampering. There has yet to be any charges of jury tampering but Assistant District Attorney Brian Zarallo was quoted as saying there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.


“Anthony Nicodemo”


Family members have denied any connection between DiPietro and the Philly mob and authorities have never labeled him a member or associate of the Philadelphia crime family. It is unclear as if the hit had anything to do with mafia business or was something else and prosecutors were not allowed to use any links to organized crime during the first trial because they could not prove it was a mob hit. Nicodemo was not identified as the shooter in the murder by prosecutors but they claim his job was to help the actual shooter who is still at large to escape and to get rid of the weapon.

Nicodemo was taken into custody at his home and the murder weapon used to gun down DiPietro a 357-Magnum was found in his SUV. His lawyers claimed that he was the victim of a car jacking by a masked gunman who stashed the weapon in his vehicle and had no knowledge of the murder. This seems to be a story that is going to be hard to sell to a jury and only time will tell if the defense team continues to use it when the retrial comes around.
With months to go before a retrial would begin it means more time for the feds to try and get Nicodemo to switch sides and cooperate. It is believed that he could fill the feds in on some still unsolved mafia murders which could lead to indictments on some of the top members of the past and current Philadelphia mafia including that of Joe Ligambi and Joey Merlino among others.  So it may be an uneasy rest of the year for some Philly wiseguys.


Philly mafia associate Ron Galati indicted for a third time


Ron Galati has now been indicted for a third time for heading an elaborate insurance fraud scheme through his auto body shop in Philadelphia. Known by some as the Don Corleone of the auto repair business the alleged Philadelphia mafia associate has now hit the trifecta of indictments. The District Attorney Office has already charged Galati on murder for hire charges and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey has charged him with attempted murder charges. Prosecutors claim he solicited the services of three hit men to murder a father and son who owned a rival auto body shop that were believed to have been cooperating in an investigation into him and his business practices.


“Ron Galati” 


Prosecutors also claim he solicited the same hit men to kill his daughters boyfriend who was actually shot in Atlantic City but survived. Galati was convicted on a similar fraud case back in 1995 and served 37 months in prison. A cooperating witness said that he liked to boast “I live my life to cheat insurance companies and my high everyday is to cheat insurance companies.” In total 41 people have been charged along with Galati in the insurance fraud case including his son Ron Jr, his wife Vicky, and Steven Ligambi the son of Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi.

Prosecutors claim that the defendant ran up to five different fraud schemes that he used to generate over a million dollars for him and his family. According to the indictment over a four year period insurance companies issued approx $2.3 million dollars of fraudulent claims filed by the auto body shop he owned. It is also alleged he fraudulently obtained a $1.8 million dollar contract with the Philadelphia Office of Fleet Management to repair the cities cop cars. Mafia snitch Louis “Bent Finger Lou” Monacello linked Galati to members of the Philly mafia including George Borgesi.

Along with the attempted murder and murder conspiracy charges he could be looking at a possible life sentence if convicted on all of the crimes he is charged with.