PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A federal judge in South Florida has released reputed Philadelphia crime boss Joey Merlino on $5-million bail while he awaits trial on racketeering charges in New York City.
Merlino lives in Boca Raton after serving a dozen years in prison on another racketeering conviction in Philadelphia.READ MORE: Triple Shooting In West Oak Lane Leaves Man Dead, 2 Women Exiting Funeral Services At Church Injured, Philadelphia Police Say
He is now accused of taking part in an alleged health care fraud scheme.
Merlino is one of more than 40 reputed organized crime members charged in the scheme that allegedly operated in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Florida.READ MORE: Memorial Day Weekend In Philadelphia Is In Full Swing As Local Residents Attend Fireworks At Penn's Landing
Prosecutors in Manhattan who had originally opposed Merlino’s release did not stand in the way of the action in West Palm Beach federal court.
Merlino will be restricted to his home, but can work in a local restaurant that bears his name. He will also be allowed to travel to eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Weather: 90's Arrive For Memorial Day
If convicted on all charges, Merlino could face up to 20 years in federal prison.