The New York Daily News reports on the racketeering trial of reputed Philadelphia Cosa Nostra crime boss Joseph Merlino.
Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino’s courtroom claim that he gave up his role as Philly’s leading mob boss didn’t carry much weight with Wednesday’s witness.
John Rubeo, an admitted gangster who worked with the Genovese family, testified in Manhattan Federal Court that Merlino was always a major underworld player — despite his attorneys’ claims he’d left the game for good.
Federal authorities say that Merlino, 55, helped orchestrate a criminal enterprise that ran from Springfield, Mass. to South Florida.
The crime boss was arrested in August 2016 in a sweep that nabbed some four dozen alleged mobsters.
Merlino’s lawyers have sought to paint the reputed gangster as a man with a serious gambling problem who was only talking to Rubeo about borrowing cash.
After Merlino got out of federal lock up in 2011 — when he did time on different charges — he decamped to South Florida rather than return to Philadelphia, his lawyers said.
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