By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Convicted former Philadelphia mob boss Joey Merlino faces a federal hearing today that could put him back in prison.

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He was just days from completing his supervised release following a 14-year racketeering sentence, when the federal government alleged last month that he had violated probation.

According to federal authorities, “Skinny Joey” as he’s known violated supervised release, in part, by meeting with convicted felons and mob members during his release.

But Merlino, through his attornies, argue he did not know two of the men he allegedly associated with were felons, and suggest an encounter with a former co-defendant in this case was a “chance encounter.”

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Prosecutors call that “laughable.”

The defense says Merlino has scrupulously abided by the conditions of his supervised release while living in Florida.

If the judge finds Merlino did violate, options would range from nothing to additional prison time.

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