NEW YORK (AP) – A prosecutor says a reputed Philadelphia mob boss profited from health insurance and gambling schemes despite his claims he had retired from a life of crime.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Schorr made the accusations Tuesday in closing arguments at the New York City trial of Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino.

Defense attorney Edwin Jacob countered by telling jurors that they were being misled by “compromised” turncoat mobsters who testified against Merlino.

The 55-year-old Merlino was among nearly four dozen defendants arrested in a 2016 crackdown on an East Coast crime syndicate. Prosecutors say it committed crimes including extortion, loan-sharking, sports gambling and insurance fraud.

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Most of the defendants pleaded guilty to lesser charges. Merlino is the only one, so far, to go to trial on conspiracy charges.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)  

Comments (2)
  1. Funny that Joey Merlino’s attorney, Edwin Jacobs stated in court when referring to the Government Witnesses that, “They lack conscience…To them, the oath is a meaningless jingle.” So wait a minute! To what “OATH” is he referring? Merlino’s claiming that he is not part of any Mafia. So what OATH is there to keep? LOL

    That statement by his foolish attorney confirms there IS a Mafia and his client, Joey Merlino is a member of it. Tsk-tsk… The slip of the tongue… I wonder if the Jury and US Attorney’s Office is as clever at DETAILS as I am… hmm. .

  2. Merlino should have taken his deal. The were doing him a big favor. Personally, if I were the AUSA, I would not have offered him a deal to begin with. Oh well, it’s only 20 years. They’re always bragging how they can do time “standing on their heads,” His wife won’t care, she’ll just move on the the next Wiseguy that’s waiting for her in the wings. And HE’LL use her up and spit her out just like this one. She’ll just keep on going around the track. that’s all they know. When these women are in their 50s, they look like they’re in their 70s. That’s how Mobsters and the Mob Life chews them up and spits them out.

    As for the Justice Department, they’re doing their duty.

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