Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Leonetti Rips Uncle, Says Cousin Didn't Have A Chance
Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia offers a piece on former Philadelphia-South Jersey La Cosa Nostra Underboss Philip Leonetti's view of his cousin Nicky Scarfo's federal trial.
Defense attorneys for Nicodemo S. Scarfo said repeatedly during his federal fraud trial that Scarfo,
49, was targeted for prosecution because of the reputation and notoriety of his father, jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo D. "Little Nicky" Scarfo.
The jury, of course, saw it differently, convicting the younger Scarfo of all 25 counts he faced in the looting of FirstPlus Financial, a Texas mortgage company.
But now another voice has weighed in in Scarfo's defense. It's not a defense of what he did, but rather an explanation for how he ended up where he did. And it's also a plea for some consideration from Judge Robert Kugler when he sentences Scarfo in October.
The younger Scarfo never had a chance, said his cousin, mobster-turned-government witness Philip Leonetti.
"He's really not a gangster," Leonetti, 61, said in a telephone interview with Bigtrial this week. "His father had him under his spell...I used to tell him, 'Nicky, get away from these guys.' And when he was talking to me, he would agree' But then he would talk to his father and..."
The words trail off, but the point is clear. Leonetti, the one-time underboss of the Scarfo crime family, followed his cousin's trial from afar.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
You can also read my interview with Philip Leonetti via the below link: