Thursday, December 12, 2013

Family Is A Distraction At Mob Trial

 By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

For more than a month family members of mob boss Joe Ligambi and of his nephew and co-defendant George Borgesi have sat in the second row behind the defense table at the racketeering conspiracy retrial of the two South Philadelphia wiseguys.

Today, as the trial resumed after a five-day break, that row was empty.

Following a highly publicized flap on Friday over possible jury intimidation, the families of the two men opted not to attend the trial today and for the foreseeable future, according to one defense attorney.

"The government and the press were making them into a distraction," said Christopher Warren, Borgesi's lawyer, during a break in today's session. "They (the family members) have voluntarily decided to absent themselves from the proceedings."

Warren said a report in Saturday's Daily News and a feature about Borgesi's wife Alyson in the Sunday Inquirer were examples of the kind of media overkill that has plagued the trial almost since its start in November.

Ironically, members of the prosecution team also complained today about the focus of newspaper articles which, they say, has missed many of the salient points of testimony in the case. It may be one of the few points on which the prosecution and defense agree.

Warren said a Daily News report that some jurors had felt "intimidated" was incorrect.

"It was blown out of proportion," he said. "There was no intimidation."

Warren acknowledged that four members of the anonymously chosen jury panel had complained that family members of the defendants were "staring at them" during Friday's proceeding. But when questioned privately by Judge Eduardo Robreno, none said they felt intimidated.

"If it (intimidation) were a legitimate concern, we would have moved for a mistrial," Warren said.

He said family members, including Borgesi's wife, his brother Anthony, his mother Manny (who is also Ligambi's sister), Ligambi's brother Philip and Ligambi's wife Olivia, have opted to stay away so as not to create "a distraction" in the courtroom.

Maybe now the media will focus on the evidence and testimony, he said, adding that a profile of Alyson Borgesi in Sunday's paper was built around a government attempt to "provoke my client."

Alyson Borgesi's name surfaced repeatedly last week during testimony from Louis Monacello and Anthony Aponick, two mob associates whom prosecutors say worked for George Borgesi. Both witnesses said George Borgesi, from prison, relayed messages to them and others through his wife.

Monacello also testified that he made monthly cash payments to Alyson Borgesi to cover her husband's share of the gambling and bookmaking operations Monacello was running for him on the streets. George Borgesi was convicted in an unrelated racketeering case in 2001 and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The testimony of Monacello and Aponick go to the heart of the conspiracy charge against Borgesi. The 50-year-old mob leader is charged with conspiring to run a mob operation while he was in jail. Borgesi was found not guilty of 13 other counts tied to Monacello's gambling and loansharking operations in the first trial that ended in February. But the jury hung on the conspiracy count, resulting in the retrial.

Ligambi, 74, was acquitted of five of nine counts he faced, but is being retried on a conspiracy count, two gambling counts and a witness intimidation count on which that same jury hung.

Four other defendants were convicted and one was acquitted in that case.

In a courtroom devoid of family and friends, the focus of testimony today shifted from Borgesi to Ligambi. Two government witnesses, both admitted drug dealers, testified about loanshark debts they owed to members of the crime family.

Joseph Comerer spent more than two hours testifying about a $500 loan that he owed to Gary Battaglini, a mob associate linked to mob soldier Damion Canalichio. Both Battaglnii and Canalichio were convicted in the first Ligambi trial.

The $500 debt and Comerer's failure to repay it while working for the Pennsylvania State Police and recording phone calls and conversations seemed to underscore the defense position that the case against Ligambi is built around penny-ante crimes that have been used to fabricate a racketeering conspiracy that doesn't exist.

Comerer's credibility was also challenged. Among other things, he conceded that he once worked as an informant for the FBI, but that relationship ended when the feds accused him of stealing $500. Comerer denied that he stole the money.

What the jury wasn't told -- because of its possible prejudice and because it was irrelevant to the case at trial -- was that Comerer helped federal authorities build a drug case against Canalichio.

More pointed and potentially damaging testimony came from Michael Orlando who began cooperating with authorities after running up thousands of dollars in debts to mobsters between 1998 and 2002.

On one tape, Orlando complains to Battaglini about the thousands he owes to Canalichio and the late John "Johnny Gongs" Casasanto.

"I owe all the killers," he said.

More damaging, however, were comments made by Battaglini about the source of the loans and where the money was ultimately going. It was, he told Orlando, Ligambi's money.

"He doesn't want to hear nothing," Battagilni said of Ligambi's attitude toward deadbeats and his approach to associates who were running loansharking operations. "He wants his fucking money...every week. He wants his end."

The prosecution, in building the case against Ligambi, has alleged that as boss he benefitted from and shared in the gambling and loansharking operations of those under him in the organization. Battaglini's comment, secretly recorded by Orlando who was wearing an FBI supplied body wire, seemed to support that argument.

George Anastasia can be contacted at George@bigtrial.net

82 comments:

  1. This soo called mob!!! Is a BIG Joke!...,,,,,,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LANCE GET PICKED UP YET....TJINK ABOUT IT NIC GOT SUSPENDED SENTENCE AFTER THEM BORGATA TAPES REALLY OK

      Delete
    2. God father they giva himm a
      Susssspended sentence .





      Delete
  2. So the goverment and press made Borgesi's wife look like a criminal? It wasn't anything to do with her running his errands and being his street gofer. Ok ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The old saying GUILTY by association

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  3. This ReTrial is the biggest waste of time and $$. Let them out. All the prosecution has is testimony from fuckin lyin rats tryin to get outta trouble

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ty. I couldn't agree more with ur thoughts. And, if any of this was true, where were the correction officers when George was running a gambling racket from the inside? Prolly placing their sports bets as well! C'mon Feds let's these boys go home!

      Delete
    2. These boys will mever see home

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    3. Even if ray charles was living and he was blind could see where this is going but keep the faith

      Delete
    4. Traci sounds like she waiting for her free turkey and drinks at the Christmas party....rooting interest in this I guess

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    5. Ya break out the pom poms

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    6. *blushing* I just see gambling as a victimless crime. And after losing 15K in the past 20 yrs.I agree w/beating up ppl to get my $ back. Yes, I was stupid n young to loan, but still. Have a good day, ppl's.

      Delete
    7. Traci you are a very unattractive woman i must say.

      Delete
    8. ^^writer,ur a stone J.O.

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    9. ^^^ lets see ur mug , u big bully :)~

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    10. And do tell me why I'M to care what u think Mr.Anon Bully? Really? This isn't a singles dating site. P.S. don't get so far off topic.

      Delete
  4. I wonder if Orlando was workin for the feds when we stole his Jaguar S-Type and his weed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. He we go everybodys lying and none of this happened what a joke how brain washed are u people i understand the support but to lie to ur selves

    ReplyDelete
  6. ANTHONY LOOKING LIKE A TOUGH GUY didnt STEVIE BITCH SLAP HIM or is that a rumor too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that is true than that isn't a smart move..

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    2. Come on..this is a selected pic to provoc a image of thugs. All pics that the media and FBI wants you to see is a image as violent, bully, thug to help with their case

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    3. They changed the picture its a discredit to the movie any.
      Ant could.ve played a hell of a HERMAN MONSTER OR FRANKEIN STEIN Just needs rhe bolts in the neck

      Delete
    4. Im sure the familys are really helping this case incourt good luck with that. Oh ya im sure uncle Joe is really happy with BOY GEORGE. Any way enjoy this CHRISTMAS with them two because its the last one in philly
      For a while or maybe Forever.

      Delete
  7. That guy wore a wire over a 500 debt. What a disgrace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ur the typical Jo when u say that... do u think he wore a wire just for 500 loan...jack ass

      Delete
  8. HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13th

    ReplyDelete
  9. No you got it wrong!! Mazzone caught a Beaten at Stoogie Joe's Cus! Never went back after that!!,,,,,,,

    ReplyDelete
  10. You people really DO NOT have a clue what you're talking about!! It's sad...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mazzone can't fight he's a Chump!! What's he 5"2 Inchs tall !!!!......

    ReplyDelete
  12. What does size have to do with it? Im 5' and knocked out guys bigger than Ant, you might think your tough when your on Steroids , you better think again. Ant was NEVER tough and besides do you know what would happen if he put hes hands on Steve????? Ant just a WannaB they would find him floating at FDR park if he ever did that to Steve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep its easy to knockout someone when the aint looking. Yep roids makes some clowns instant tough guys for lack of manhood. So the guy who did the alleged slap, was he on roids? "wanna be" that is a s.philly sub-cultured saying. I,m sure you are like many S.Philly people who enjoy playing the role, though.. "Yo, Bo, Cuz"...

      Delete
  13. Give me a Break!! Mazzone Nothing! He's A Fruit Cake!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Easy to say on this site i guess because we all sign anonymous but im pretty sure
      Knowing these guys like i use too wouldnt mind giving a few of u an antidepressent to the HEAD! Just thought i make that clear

      Delete
    2. Okay keyboard warrior.^^

      Delete
    3. And ur doing what! Oh ya same shit.

      Delete
    4. Not anon makn threats ...Mr making it clear....keyboard strong...

      Delete
    5. 4 up ^^^^ playn the role...OK bo

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    6. Anonymous key board mobster
      But no matter how u spin it drum roll please verdict will be GUILTY AS CHARGED But keep the faith u amonymous believers MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

      Delete
    7. Who ever you r that keeps repeating for everyone to quote keep the faith, you must have someyhing personal against these guys....? You're relentless, you sound like government!

      Delete
  14. They sell enough trees for the
    CHRISTMAS PARTY YET!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YA milk and cookies at
      SMOKIE JOE.S CAFE

      Delete
  15. 500.00 !??!?!?!!? omg! how many people borrow money from neighbors ect.. and it escalates into threats that are of no substance. The feds are really stretching this one. Warning to all Americans never say a word out of anger you make have to face defending years in jail because a certain government employees, FBI,CIA, SS or even a Informant maybe able to use it against you to get a promotion. Especially if your name ends in a vowel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get over it lady do the crime do the time these rats arent making this stuff up tapes dont lie. They turned informents because the mob didnt need them any more. Thete days were gonna come to an end so they wired up tapes dont lie

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    2. Why don't the Informants do the time for their crimes!? They are the ones who are confessing to violent crimes, committed by themselves. Their lives were not in danger they lie to the feds to get out of jail,period. You are willing to believe a man (Aponick) convicted on numerous bank robberies all while being in the witness program and Lou Monacello who himself admitted he beat people for lining is own pockets with money? Monacello spilled his hatred to them with many friends when drunk and saying how he wanted to make movies. He was a wife beater and cheated many of times on his wife..

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    3. I agree with u . I feel the state case is weak when they continue to use guys who are still commiting crimes as key witnesses

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    4. No the Gov is only interested in Murders not us tax paying good pp . We dont need these MuRDERS on our streeet, I know they dont care about their kids but we do ,,,,,,,, KEEP THEM WHERE THEY BELONG .........BEHIND STEEL BARS'

      Delete
    5. Hey Jim....its a federal case....state is not producing evidence....thank the good lord ur not a juror

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    6. If i was a juror i would have to vote not guilty based on the fact the state whole case is based off shady witnesses who continued to break the laws and now look for a free a pass

      Delete
    7. Will just ask uncle Joe and
      BOY GEORGE to tell the truth end the case tmrw! !"""" That ok with u Jim they wont lie either case over lol.....

      ...

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    8. If you for some reason had a case against you would you want guys who have shady records testify against you with your freedom on the line ? The states case is weak it's based on guys who look for free passes and a undercover officer who has no ties to Philly . It's not about what you believe it's about the charges and the evidence to back those charges and for me that means not guilty

      Delete
    9. Or working the state is using evidence that they collected

      Delete
  16. use all wanna run ur mouths on here use r all jokes get a life u have to much time on ur hands if u sit here and comment on this shit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And ah..... ur doing what einstein

      Delete
  17. At least Steveie took is Beaten like a man!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOY I hope this is not true,,,,, I m guessing BOR GAY Z will have to pay for he's little brothers ANGER,,, LMFAO

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    2. Trying to cause friction amongst guys who been friends for years wont work. You bring up names and alleged incidences that are irrelevant to the case. You must be a so-called "mob insider" that George A. calls to get some frivolous street info. I wonder if the man you say goes around smacking people would like to know you are saying this. He may want to smack you. Stick to the case and the facts..

      Delete
  18. This case is based on a bunch of shady witnesses by the state . Joe or George should not be found guilty by rats who continue to break the law and look for a get out of free jail card. I hope the jurors see through theses tactics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with that thought!!!""

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    2. Don't worry about Jim...he's in state court voting not guilty....he got an f in civics class

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    3. Ok my friend it's a federal charge not state but it's in a federal court in the state of Pennsylvania no matter how you look at it it's a weak case with shady witnesses who shouldn't be trusted . It's not about whether u think Joe or George are guilty it's about the witnesses the feds choose to make there case

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    4. These are exactly the witnesses you would expect...low-life crumbs who are out to save themselves..who did you expect a Nobel peace prize winner?

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    5. True! And that should be focal point of their credibility and the us attorney office should be face somekind of lawsuit for allowing perjury just to push a frivolous case. Abuse of power ! The government can do this to anyone at their will. They so-called "mob" don't target people who are innocent to that lifestyle the government can go after anyone just to make a case.

      Delete
  19. Its a shame u hadda use the godfathter pic these guys couldnt make a pimple on a gangsters ass

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't know how to separate movies from reality.

      Delete
    2. Im sorry printed it wrong its a insult to a fine movie u know the rest..

      Delete
  20. This blog shit is better than mobwives!

    ReplyDelete
  21. You Mean RatFather!!!!...,,,

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Ratfellas sold 2 Christmas Trees!!...,,,

    ReplyDelete
  23. When is Skinny coming Back!!??

    ReplyDelete
  24. Skinny: lets see,should i live in boca ? Chill on the beach with hot broads n smoke cigars n extort millionaires or come to philly n have dave n george at my doorsrsp everyday plus the feds up my ass 24\7 n getting harrass by these corny wanna bes n yo bo's,hmmmm? Tough decision \ yooooooo booooooo!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Why would he ccomeback? For what to hang oyt with corny wanna bes n yoooo booooos! !!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. To Slap Chang!! For putting his Wife on 60mins...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Y? Ur wife didn't geta call...aww..

      Delete
  27. Marty crutch the new boss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That.s a fuvking joke that fst fuck

      Delete
    2. That.s a fucking joke that fat fuck boss. A drunk maybe but no bosd

      Delete
  28. I'm so sick of hearing everyone back and forth. First of all these men are the Mob and extremly smart, they know the law and run the operation well. Here is the thing, the only people they are hurting are the ones who have no choice for their actions. I'm not even talking about the families cause they know what they are getting into. I'm talking about the poor people who loose thier lives for months at a time listen to the stories. Simple white collar people who have no clue about the crime or laws. Papers write about how they effect family members but what about the lives that are ruined, because now they live and breath in fear. I understand most Mob members just hurt each other, but looking at 7 men for four months was enough and will always be apart of my life. Now George there is your story, what really happens behind the closed doors, eating jolly ranchers everyday and forced to listen.

    ReplyDelete
  29. BOO HOOHOO GEY SOME TISSUES

    ReplyDelete

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