Ron Galati's broke.
The South Philadelphia auto body shop owner accused to orchestrating a $5 million insurance scam told a judge this morning that he does not have the money to pay for a lawyer in either of the two pending criminal trials he is facing in Common Pleas Court.
"Exactly right," Galati said when Judge Jeffrey Minehart asked if he could not afford to hire an attorney for either the insurance fraud conspiracy case or a murder-for-hire case in which he is a defendant.
Assistant District Attorney Dawn Holtz said her office believes Galati has the financial ability to retain private counsel.
"He may not be able to afford the best attorney in the land," Holtz said during a brief hearing before Minehart. But she said her office believes Galati has assets and that "the City of Philadelphia and the taxpayers of Philadelphia should not be paying" his legal bills.
Minehart set a Jan. 8 hearing date on the financial question. Holtz said her office would offer evidence showing that Galati can afford an attorney.