Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vince Fumo And Daughter Duke It Out In Orphans' Court

Allison Fumo, Vincent J. Fumo, and Carolyn Zinni
By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Lawyers for Allison Fumo filed a memorandum in Orphans' Court Monday, charging that a $2.5 million trust set up by her father, former state Senator Vincent J. Fumo, has been "mismanaged by cronies and acolytes."

Because of that alleged mismanagement, Allison Fumo's lawyers are asking Judge Joseph D. O'Keefe to take $611,158 of that trust fund and deposit it in a separate bank account so that Vince Fumo's 23-year-old daughter can manage her own trust.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Filmmaker Sees Parallel Between Red Purges And Local Prosecution Of Catholic Priests

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Ken Gumbert, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, chronicles the lives of people who have fought back against historic injustices.

His 1990 documentary, Saving Grace, was about the survivors of a Communist social experiment to exterminate religion in Czechoslovakia, particularly the Catholic Church. His 1992 film, Between Two Worlds, was about a family of Ute Indians struggling to retain their native culture on a Utah reservation, amid rampant alcoholism and drug abuse. His 2003 documentary, Red Terror On The Amber Coast, was about the resistance movement in Lithuania, where people fought to the death against a Soviet campaign of mass arrests, property confiscations, and deportations to forced labor camps in Siberia.

Gumbert was in Philadelphia this week to begin shooting his latest documentary about another group of people fighting historic injustice -- Catholic priests in America falsely accused of sex abuse.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Two Faces Of Anthony Staino Assessed At Sentencing

Anthony Staino
By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

Federal Judge Eduardo Robreno had to consider the two faces of Anthony Staino this morning before sentencing the convicted mobster to 97 months on racketeering and extortion charges.

Friends and family members who crowded the 15th floor courtroom described him as a "loving" father and husband; a "funny, good-hearted, kind and outgoing" neighbor, and a "man of integrity."

The testimonials came from friends and family members, including his wife, his son and his ex-wife, who appeared before Robreno during a three-hour sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors offered a different view of the 56-year-old mob leader who was picked up on one FBI tape bragging that he was the "CFO" and a "member of the board of directors" of the Philadelphia organized crime family.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Canalichio Sentenced In Mob Conspiracy Case

Judge Robreno
By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

Damion Canalichio, described by a federal prosecutor as a mob "enforcer" who abused people, was sentenced this morning to 137 months in prison for his conviction on racketeering conspiracy charges.

Judge Eduardo Robreno  rejected a government request for a 20-year sentence.

But Robreno said nothing in Canalichio's criminal history, including two convictions for drug dealing and a series of arrests for assault, drug use and solicitation of a prostitute, "has shown the slightest respect for the law."

Robreno had set a sentencing guideline range of 110 to 137 months and, following a two-hour hearing, sentenced the 43-year-old mobster to the top of that range.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Canalichio, Staino Battle For Lighter Sentences

Damion Canalichio (right) with George Borgesi
By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

They were both in the gambling business, but this time the odds don't appear to be in their favor.

Mobsters Damion Canalichio and Anthony Staino go in front of Judge Eduardo Robreno this week to find out how to plan the next several years of their lives. Both are going to be inmates in federal prisons.

The only question is for how long.

Canalichio, 43, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy in the big mob trial that ended in February. Staino, 56, was convicted of extortion and shortly afterward pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge on which the jury had hung.

Friday, July 12, 2013

In Orphans' Court Allie Fumo Seeks To Dump "Dr. Barbie"

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Dr. Anthony Repici was Vince Fumo's personal physician for 25 years. He's also taken care of Fumo's children.

"I've treated all three of them over the years," the doctor testified today about the Fumo kids in Philadelphia Orphans' Court.

Dr. Repici seemed especially fond of Allie Fumo, the former state senator's youngest daughter, now 23.

"Allison called me Dr. Barbie," Repici testified. "I used to bring her Barbie dolls" when he visited the Fumos. "She was an adorable child who would run up to me and say, 'Dr. Barbie, Dr. Barbie,'" Repici recalled.

Donald Foster, a lawyer representing Allie Fumo, told the doctor that despite buying his client 26 Barbie dolls, Allie Fumo wasn't going along with her father's wishes that Dr. Repici serve as trustee of a $2.5 million trust fund that lists Allie Fumo as a beneficiary.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mob Underboss Hammered, Sentenced To More Than 15 Years

By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

The party ended before it got started for mob underboss Joseph "Mousie" Massimino.

The 63-year-old mobster, who joked continually about a victory celebration during a racketeering trial that ended in February, was sentenced to 188 months in prison today for his conviction on racketeering conspiracy charges.

In a courtroom packed with friends and family members of the defendant, Judge Eduardo Robreno imposed the sentence of nearly 16 years after a two-hour hearing. The hearing included an impassioned and rambling statement by the defendant who denied he was a mob leader, questioned the draconian sentencing guideline system employed in federal cases and suggested that the country would be safer if the government focused on terrorists rather than La Cosa Nostra.

"I'm no boss of nuthin'," the thin, goateed wiseguy said while denying government accusations that he had extorted and threatened gamblers and the operators of a video poker machine company.

If the FBI used the money that the investigation in this case cost to track down and prosecute Al-Qaeda, he said, "The World Trade Center would still be there and those poor people in Boston would still have their arms and legs."

He also questioned sentencing guidelines that sometimes add up to 100 years.

"Those laws are for trees," Massimino said, his arms outstretched, his palms up in supplication. "Trees live a hundred years."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"A Single Breathtaking Admission"

Msgr. William J. Lynn
By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

It's the lawyer's version of yelling, "Gotcha."

In a 12-page reply brief filed today in Superior Court, defense lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn argued that District Attorney Seth Williams blew the entire case against Lynn by making a "single breathtaking admission."

The alleged admission: that the D.A. prosecuted Lynn "ex post facto," or after the fact, under the standards of an amended child endangerment law.