Reputed Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi and his nephew and consigliere George Borgesi are once again facing racketeering conspiracy charges at their retrial. Authorities claim that Ligambi took over control of the Philly mafia in 1999 from then boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino after he was sent to prison. Ligambi was acquitted back in February by a jury of five out of the original nine charges he was indicted on in the first Philly mob trial but the jury deadlocked on the remaining four including racketeering conspiracy. If convicted in the retrial Ligambi could face anywhere from 10 to 20 years in prison. The racketeering conspiracy is built around principle gambling charges and so far don’t contain any violent crimes against either Ligambi or Borgesi.
“Joseph Ligambi (left) and George Borgesi (right)”
Prosecutors are hoping to have history on their side with Louis “Bent Finger Lou” Monacello as government witnesses usually do better in retrial appearences. Monacello’s testimony in the first trial did not go over well and was often filled with sarcasm and anger and one trial insider believes he may have been taken to “witness school” and this time around he may be much more focused. The one time top Borgesi associate who is now referred to by Borgesi as “Fat Finger Lou” could get his former mob pal the finger if the jury buys what he is selling this time around. The wild card in the retrial may be former mafia associate and Borgesi cell mate Anthony Aponick who cut a deal with the feds promising to deliver up Georgie Boy but was not called in to testify in the orginal trial. Many believe his questionable credibility caused him to be held out of the original trial and this may be a sort of hail mary attempt by prosecution to use him this time around as they try and prove the conspiracy charge.
The prosecution may have to face off against one of its own witnesses at retrial. Frank “Frankie the Fixer” DiGiacomo was called as a witness by prosecutors in previous trial but much of his testimony undermined that of fellow witness Lou Monacello. Seems unlikely the prosecution would call him to testify at the retrial leaving him open to being called as a witness by the defense.