Colombo Family mobster Rizzo gets off easy


Nicky Rizzo has been sentenced to six months in a medical facility on loan sharking and extortion charges from 2011. Now 86 the aging Colombo family mobster listed an string of medical ailments before he was sentenced including prostate and bladder cancer, anxiety and depression in hopes of getting a lighter sentence. It did the trick as the judge took it easy on the octogenarian racketeer as skeptical prosecutors were pushing for the maximum sentence of two years in prison. Judge Matsumoto when sentencing Rizzo said she also took into account the tragic string of misfortunes the mafioso had incurred which included the deaths of his three children. One of his sons died after being hit with a baseball bat , another fell down an elevator shaft and died, and his daughter died of a drug overdose.


“Nicky Rizzo (on left)”


But prosecutors paint a much different picture of Rizzo who has been a long time soldier in the Colombo crime family. He had a remarkable run being able to elude arrest up until 2011 despite his long history in the mafia. Rizzo is a former boxer and veteran of World War II and prosecutors claim he made millions over a decade running low key criminal activities using violence and threats of violence on behalf of the Colombo family. Prosecutors also stated that the shuffling into the courtroom and the groaning of Rizzo was a joke and there was no suggestion that he was close to death. Rizzo irked prosecutors right to the end as he asked if he could turn himself in to serve his six month sentence after the November wedding of his grandson.


Colombo mobster Guerra gets 14 years on drug charges after avoiding murder rap


Francis “BF” Guerra a long time associate of the Colombo crime family was sentenced to 14 years in prison on a drug conviction. Authorities claimed he fraudulently obtaining and selling the prescription drug Oxycontin after an investigation back in 2010-2011. Guerra was recently acquitted by a jury of two mob hits but U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes she believed the government by a preponderance of evidence had proven he committed the murders. The judge then said she was permitted to consider the violent crimes and his future dangerousness when handing down the stiff 14 year sentence. Gerald McMahon the defense attorney for Guerra said it was a disgrace for judge Townes to tell a jury who said he was not guilty of the murders that he was.


“Francis Guerra”


Feds claimed that Guerra murdered Michael Devine back in 1992 on orders from then acting boss Alphonse Persico the son of official Colombo family boss Carmine Persico Jr. Devine was killed because he had a relationship with Alphonse Persico’s wife. Guerra was also allegedly responsible for the mafia hit on then Colombo family underboss Joseph Scopo during the bloody Colombo family war one of the most violent feuds in mob history. Scopo was part of a faction that was attempting to take control of the mafia family from the Persicos. The murder of Scopo was key to Guerra and his co-conspirators winning the war and the Persico faction maintaining control of the Colombo family. But at trial Guerra claimed that he was home playing the board game clue at the time Scopo was murdered. The jury bought the “Col. Mustard” claim and he was cleared of the Scopo hit along with the murder of Devine.

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said that Guerra chose a life years ago in organized crime which has always been more about money then honor and murder was his stock in trade. She said that this sentence is a harsh warning to others thinking of attempting to illegally traffic these dangerous drugs. It is also a warning to other associates and members of organized crime that they too will be held accountable for such crimes.


Lucchese mobster Nicky Scarfo awaits trial as wife and cousin plead guilty to FirstPlus Scam


Nicodemo Scarfo Jr the son of former Philadelphia mafia boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo is headed to trial in October but his wife and cousin are not as they have pleaded guilty for their parts in th FirstPlus Financial scheme. Nicky Jr was part of a scam that attempted to siphon over $12 million dollars from the Texas based FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. His wife Lisa Marie Scarfo plead guilty to mortgage fraud using money obtained from the FirstPlus takeover , she now faces up to five years in prison. John Parisi pleaded guilty and admitted that he conspired to defraud the financial group along with his cousin Nicky Scarfo and he faces up to five years in prison. Authorities claim the group headed by Scarfo used intimidation to take over the company back in 2007 and then used shell companies to steal proceeds.


“Nicky Scarfo Jr”


Back in 1989 the younger Scarfo was shot eight times as he was having dinner at Dante’s& Luigi’s Restaurant in South Philly in what was considered an attempted mob hit. With little protection left in the Philadelphia mafia after his father was convicted he relocated to New Jersey and as a favor to his father was inducted as a member of the Lucchese crime family of the New York mafia at rank of soldier protecting him against any further attempts on his life. Scarfo’s father Nicky Sr and former Lucchese family boss Victor Amuso who are both currently serving life sentences were named as unindicted co-conspirators in the case.


Colombo Family Consigliere Fusco Passes Away


Richard “Richie Nerves” Fusco the reputed consigliere of the Colombo crime family has passed away at the age of 77. Fusco had just completed serving a four month stint in prison after copping a plea to extortion charges that could of netted him up to two years but got a lighter sentence due mostly to medical reasons. Suffering from many ailments including kidney disease Fusco collapsed and died at his brother-in-laws post funeral luncheon last Friday. Fusco took over as consigliere for the Colombo family as a favor to long time pal and imprisoned Colombo boss Carmine “Junior” Persico back in 2008 after then acting boss Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli and under boss John “Sonny” Franzese were charged with racketeering.


“Richard Fusco”


Fusco was a staunch ally of Persico during the bloody Colombo war in 1991-93 and served 14 years in prison for his efforts in the intra-family violence. According to mob sources he jumped into the role of consigliere with a vengeance and immediately began conducting mob meetings in Brooklyn at his social club. He had these meetings every Tuesday and Thursday as those were the days he traveled there for dialysis treatments. This dedication to the Colombo family and the Mafia led him to what would be his last ever prison term earlier this year as he tried to shake down the Gambino crime family for medical expenses of $150,000 for a Colombo family associate that was stabbed by a mob rival in a dispute. Fusco was one of the last remaining members of the old guard with in the Colombo family and a dying breed of old school mobster.


Feds ready to try again to nail Philly mobsters Ligambi and Borgesi


The feds hope that a different jury in the same case against Philadelphia mobsters will lead to a different result. The retrial of reputed Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi and his nephew and fellow mobster George Borgesi is set to begin on October 15 and is expected to last anywhere from six to eight weeks. The ground work for the retrial has begun with a pre-trial hearing in which many pre-trial motions and arguments are to be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno. Both defendants are facing racketeering conspiracy charges that the case is fundamentally build around with Ligambi facing two added gambling charges. This retrial could prove to be a death struggle for the 73 year old Ligambi who could face from 10 to 20 years behind bars if he is convicted of racketeering conspiracy. The stakes are not quite as high for the 50 year old Borgesi but after spending the last 13 years in prison on a previous conviction he could be facing up to another decade in prison if convicted again.



One of the key issue’s being heard in pre-trial motions is the amount of evidence from the first case that will be allowed to be used by the government during the retrial. Prosecutors argue that the conspiracy law grants them substantial leeway and they want permission to basically present the same case used in the original trial. Lawyers for the defendants argue that the prosecution should be limited as to what they can present the second time around. The witnesses , trial exhibits, and recordings used by the government in first Philadelphia mob case would be largely the same as was used in original trial according to U.S. Attorney Frank Labor in his pre-trial motion. Judge Robreno has yet to rule on the motion but any ruling limiting what the prosecution can reuse would be a small victory for the defense.

In the trial earlier this year Ligambi was found not guilty on five of nine charges against him and Borgesi not guilty on thirteen of the fourteen charges he faced but the jury hung on the conspiracy charges for both. Of the overall 62 counts in the case the jury came back with not guilty verdicts on 46 counts against the seven defendants. But even with the amount of not guilty verdicts four out of the original seven defendants are now serving prison sentences. The four mobsters convicted included reputed Philadelphia mob underboss Joseph “Mousie” Massimino , mob captain Anthony Staino, mob soldier Damion Canalichio , and mob associate Gary Battaglini. Reputed Philadelphia mafia capo Joseph “Scoops” Licata so far is the only one of the defendants to escape with a not guilty verdict and is back on streets of Philadelphia.