Thursday, December 5, 2013

Philly Mob On Trial: Witness Puts Price Tag On Mob Membership

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

An outsider can buy his way into the Philadelphia mob for $10,000.


That, at least, is what New York mob informant Anthony Aponick said he was asked to cough up to George Borgesi while they were cellmates in a federal prison in West Virginia back in 2003.

"He said I would become a member of his crew," said Aponick as he testified today at the racketeering conspiracy retrial of Borgesi and his uncle, mob boss Joe Ligambi. "He wanted $10,000."

The membership fee was just 10 percent of what Boston mobster Bobby Luisi said he had to pay Joey Merlino back in the late 1990s to become a made member of the organization. Whether that was a reflection of an economic downturn in the underworld or whether Aponick was getting a special discount could not be determined. Like Aponick, Luisi became a close associate of Borgesi's. And like Aponick, he eventually became an FBI informant.

Aponick said his dealings with Borgesi also came with an ominous warning.

"Listen, no matter what, don't fuck me," he said Borgesi told him as Aponick was about to be released from prison in 2003. "If you fuck me, I'll kill you and your whole family."

Aponick, who was already cooperating with the FBI by that time, disregarded the warning.

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