The latest Philadelphia mafia trial ended with a mixed bag of results for the government with four defendants being convicted one acquitted and two more with deadlocked verdicts. The jury deadlocked on charges of racketeering conspiracy against alleged Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph Ligambi and mobster George Borgesi. As expected the government is coming back after the Philly wiseguys for round two as U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno has scheduled their retrial date for April 16th. They will be retried on the charge of racketeering conspiracy which the first jury deadlocked on. Both Ligambi and Borgesi still remain behind bars with out bail.
“Joseph Ligambi (left) and George Borgesi (right)”
Although they didn’t get a conviction of Ligambi the government still believes they won a significant victory against the Philadelphia Mafia with outcome of the first trial. Defendants Joseph Massimino alleged underboss Damion Canalichio alleged soldier and Gary Battaglini alleged mob associate were all convicted of racketeering conspiracy and are looking at long prison terms. Also alleged Philly mob capo Anthony Staino was convicted of loansharking. With Ligambi and Borgesi now set for a retrial the only defendant to walk away a free man was alleged capo Joseph Licata who was acquitted on his only charge.
The racketeering case often deemed racketeering-lite by the defense because it lacked any charges of violence was believed to be weaker then many previous racketeering cases against the mafia. Even though the defense tried to make the governments case seem like an enormous waste of time and a waste of taxpayers money because the case was simply built around gambling charges many of them stuck. It will be interesting to see if the government can now make the charges stick in a retrial against their main target Uncle Joe Ligambi.