Philly Mafia retrial continues without any new fireworks


Jurors at the racketeering retrial of reputed Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi and fellow mobster George Borgesi were teased with tales of modern day contract slayings and mafia shakedowns and swindles. But instead of these mob tales they have been treated to a long and slow lesson on how the illegal video gambling business works along with stories from the glory days of the Philly mafia. Even though there are no new fireworks to speak of so far during the retrial the prosecutions hopes the simple rerun will be enough to get this new jury to buy into the racketeering conspiracy charges that remain for both defendants. The broader racketeering case from previous trial which produced convictions against mob underboss Joseph “Mousie” Massimino and capo Anthony “Ant” Staino¬†among others failed to do so for Ligambi and Borgesi as they were acquitted of most of charges against them.


“Ligambi (left) and Borgesi (right)”


Multiple witnesses so far as in previous trial have outlined their business dealing with many low level Philly mobsters but few of them have mentioned dealings with either Ligambi or Borgesi. Lawyers for Ligambi and Borgesi continue to argue that they had nothing to do with the crimes committed by Staino , Massimino, and others who were previously convicted and that the days of violent mafia activity in Philadelphia are the past. Liagmbi’s lawyer Edward Jacobs Jr argued that the indictments against his client alleges none of the violent acts seen in previous cases against Philadelphia mobsters of the past. George Borgesi’s lawyer Christopher Warren said “How can you have a mafia trial with no violence , murders, or money”. Prosecution continues to call more witness to the stand which will include more mob turncoats like Louis “Bent Finger Lou” Monacello who also testified during the previous trial and tapes made by now deceased New York mob rat Nicholas “Nicky Skins” Stefanelli. Stefanelli a soldier in Gambino crime family secretly wore a wire for two years as an FBI informant which included tapes of a meeting between heads of Gambino family and Ligambi and company before committing suicide in March of last year.

Even though it seems like mob trial Deja vu the prosecution believes it has enough evidence for a new jury to convict both Ligambi and Borgesi on conspiracy.


Who is next boss of the Philly Mafia


With the retrial of Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph Ligambi underway many have begun to speculate on who is next in line to lead the Philly mafia. Whether or not he is found guilty this time around there could be a shake up on the streets as to who takes the lead of the Philadelphia mob. Many still debate as to whether Ligambi was officially the boss or more of an acting boss for Joey Merlino while he was away doing time in either case his hold on the reins in Philly seems to be at an end. Merlino is now living the good life in Florida since his prison release and seems to be done with the Philly mob although some are not so quick to dismiss his involvement. Current acting boss Steve Mazzone and part of the old Merlino crew could be next in line to take the lead but there are plenty of others looking for a piece of the pie.


“Joseph Ligambi”


Mobsters from the Nicky Scarfo organization are now back on the streets in Philadelphia after serving long prison terms and mob experts like George Anastasia believe they want back in and think they have a lot coming to them. If Ligambi gets convicted the Mazzone crew may have a fight on their hands from these “old heads” of the Scargo regime if they want control of the Philly mafia. If Ligambi makes it back on to the streets and escapes his retrial he may also find it hard to get these older mobsters to fall in line. The whole mob dynamic on the streets of Philly is now in flux and that could bring with it violence as it has in the past. With more people wanting a piece of an ever shrinking pie in Philly it causes a problem because more times that pie has to be split the smaller the share is.


“Steve Mazzone”


Mob experts don’t believe Merlino’s old crew which includes current acting boss Mazzone will be able to mesh with the older wiseguys from the Scarfo era. Many believe that Philip Narducci could be the heir apparent being known as a no nonsense mobster from the Scarfo days. He has the personality and the ability to take over with the backing of the rest of the Scarfo era mobsters who have the street cred and status to take over according to Anastasia. It is still unclear as to if the old school guys on streets actually think there is enough left to the Philadelphia crime family to be worth fighting over or if they just decide to do their own thing and let the current crew led by Mazzone move forward if Ligambi goes away.


“Scarfo era mob crew – front left “Philip Narducci”


The next boss of the Philadelphia mob will likely be decided shortly after the Ligambi retrial ends and whether or not that transition is a bloody one is yet to be seen. Some mob experts from both New York and Philly believe the New York Mafia bosses may step in and ultimately decide who the next Philly mob boss is.



Colombo family capo Teddy Persico Sr back on streets


Theodore “Teddy” Persico Sr a long time Colombo crime family capo and brother of imprisoned for life Colombo boss Carmine “Junior” Persico is back on the streets after serving the last 22 years in prison. He was arrested back in 1993 outside St Patrick’s Cathedral on Palm Sunday at a meeting of Persico faction mobsters. He was a point man for the Persico faction during a bloody Colombo family mafia war against a rival faction led by Victor “Little Vic” Orena that lasted about two years. Teddy Sr was convicted in 1994 for racketeering and murder conspiracy. Prosecutors claimed he was involved in a number of murder plots against the Orena faction but was not implicated in any of the 12 murders that took place during the mafia war from 1991-1993. Teddy Sr spent the last six years of his prison sentence in a prison hospital due to undisclosed ailments before being released and spending two months in a Brooklyn half way house.

A law enforcement source confirmed they would be keeping an eye on Theodore who after doing his time now has more respect then ever. Being the only Persico currently out on the streets he could be called upon to get the Colombo family back on track as he once was part of a Colombo family ruling panel. His son and Colombo family mobster Theodore “Skinny Teddy” Persico recently agreed to a plea deal is slated to be sentenced to 12 years in prison. But others believe that the Persico’s power with in the Colombo family is slowly coming to an end and that Teddy Sr is not looking for any trouble and has been keeping to himself and staying close to home in Valley Stream since he has been back on the streets. Whether Carmine will look for his brother to step in and re-establish control is still unknown but one thing is for sure the Colombo crime family has plenty of leadership openings.


Italy continues assault against Sicilian Mafia boss of bosses Messina Denaro


Italian authorities have seized assets from three more associates of Cosa Nostra mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro. The head of the Sicilian Mafia and the so called “boss of bosses” Denaro has been on the run since 1993 and is one of the top ten most wanted criminals in the world. One of the most powerful mafia bosses in Italy Denaro has been a top target of authorities who hope these massive asset seizures may influence one of his associates to betray him leading to his capture. The initiative to close off support for the fugitive mob boss by attacking his financial resources has been ongoing since 2009 and continues to grow. Italian authorities will not comment on whether or not they are any closer to locating Denaro or if his arrest is in any way imminent.


“Matteo Messina Denaro”


The current asset seizure included a three people one of which was a relative of Denaro worth more the 1.8 Million-euro’s or $2.4 Million dollars. In total assets worth more then $4 Billion dollars have been seized from reputed associates of Messina Denaro since 2009 in form of money, properties, and businesses. With such massive seizures taking place many mafia experts believe it is only a matter of time that the net closes around Messina Denaro and he is eventually captured. So far those results are yet to be seen and its unclear if its has brought authorities any closer to the Sicilian mafia boss of bosses who’s vast network of associates and assets is perhaps stronger then ever expected.


Philly mafia retrial of Ligambi and Borgesi set to get underway


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.