Friday, April 27, 2018

Mob Boss 'Skinny Joey' Merlino pleads guilty

Wiseguy Joey “Skinny Joey” Merlino removed his ankle bracelet Friday after he pleaded guilty to a single count of illegal gambling that allows him to avoid retrial. Merlino, head of the Philadelphia mob, had his initial case dismissed in January after a federal jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges of illegal gambling, loansharking, health care fraud and racketeering. Rather than retry him, the feds agreed to let him cop to the least serious count. Illegal gambling carries a maximum of two years in the slammer. Racketeering, by contrast, carries a maximum 20 years in prison.
Judge Richard Sullivan was openly peeved. The government is recommending that Merlino get 10 to 16 months behind bars under the deal. But Merlino’s sentence is at the discretion of the judge — who seemed to indicate 'Skinny Joey' will do the full two years. Merlino, 56, will be sentenced Sept. 13.