Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Mouse That Roared: The Federal Organized Crime Trial In Philadelphia

The veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the federal organized crime trial in Philadelphia for

It was an underworld version of The Mouse That Roared, a less than flattering look at mob underboss Joseph "Mousie" Massimino captured on FBI wiretaps that were replayed today for the jury deliberating the fates of Massimino, mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and five co-defendants.

Massimino, 62, has been one of the more verbal defendants throughout the three-month trial, drawing smiles and laughter from friends and family members with his quips and asides, predicting not guilty verdicts and telling everyone to "keep those martini glasses on ice" for the victory party.

But the career criminal had little to say today -- other than calling a reporter a "jerkoff" -- when he strode into court to hear the tapes the jury had asked to be replayed.

What those in the courtroom heard was not the easy-going and glib defendant, but rather what the prosecution alleges was the volatile, take-no-prisoners underboss.
"You fuckin' bet, you motherfucker, you don't wanna pay?" he said in one conversation with an associate that was recorded in 2003.

Later on the same tape, Massimino appeared to put himself in the middle of a sports betting operation, one of the key charges in the case.

"Why didn't you do like I said?" he asked the associate. "Why didn't you turn all the sports bets in?"

Anger and frustration surfaced in another taped phone call from 2004 in which he threatened an unidentified gambler.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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