Philadelphia mafia associate and plumber Francis “Frankie The Fixer” DiGiacomo throws the defense team a curve ball in the re-trial of reputed mob boss Joseph Ligambi and nephew George Borgesi. In the previous Philly mob trail in 2012 DiGiacomo was called as a witness by the prosecution but provided an underwhelming performance calling Ligambi and associates “great people” while calling Bent Finger Lou Monacello the prosecutions key witness a liar. He returned to the witness stand on the final day of evidence for the re-trail now as a witness for the defense but this time around his story had changed and he didn’t do his former mob pals any favors. Calling DiGiacomo may have done more to damage the case of the defense team then support it and could really end up being a major mistake.
“Joseph Ligambi (left) George Borgesi (right)”
As he did in his first time on the stand he admitted to being a part of a crew led by George Borgesi as a debt collector for the Philly mafia. A plumber by trade said he used threats of violence along with actual violent acts over the years to collect debts from loan-sharking clients on behalf of the mob. But after racking up his own debt with the Philadelphia mobsters he felt his position with in the mafia family was threatened and he feared for his life prompting him to turn to the feds in 2007. He then began wearing a wire and taping conversations with Borgesi’s number two man Louis “Bent Finger Lou” Monacello who also turned rat and is now in witness protection program. The tapes made by DiGiacomo supplied information on day to day operations of loan sharking and illegal bookmaking operations being run by Monacello. Monacello claimed he was running the illegal business on behalf of Borgesi after he was sent to prison for racketeering in 2010.
Borgesi’s defense team claims that their client had no knowledge of any of the crimes being committed by Monacello. DiGiacomo’s testimony at the first trial was very beneficial to this part of the defenses case and they hoped for a repeat this time around but it never developed. Instead DiGiacomo when questioned said he knew who he was working for and left little doubt saying “We were doing it for George, and had to take all orders from Joe”. DiGiacomo said on stand “I knew Joe was the boss, and i knew what Georgie was”. He said he kicked up payments to Monacello who then passed them on to a third associate who passed it on to Borgesi’s wife. When asked who the money being made from the illegal operations ultimately benefited he said “Georgie” said DiGiacomo. When questioned he also said “That was my boss, right there” pointing to Joe Ligambi sitting in the courtroom. He also stated this time that he had in fact talked directly with Ligambi about the loan-sharking operation. He did concede he had no direct contact with Borgesi while he was imprisoned and that he primarily dealt with Monacello.
He still didn’t have anything good to say about his former associate Monacello calling him very sneaky and greedy. He also said that he always understood the Philly mob pecking order even though they may have been “great people” as he described them in his previous time on the stand. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin on Monday and the case should be in the hands of the Jury by Tuesday or Wednesday.