Philly mob boss, Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, will most likely be going home today after being cleared of witness tampering charges last week. The reputed Philadelphia mafia man managed to receive two not guilty verdicts in two separate trials. On Monday, federal prosecutors indicated that they will not pursue a third trial for the remaining gambling and racketeering charges against the well known Philly mob boss.
Ligambi was believed to be the head of a suffering La Cosa Nostra mafia family. Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, the former head of the family, was convicted and sent to prison in 2001. Ligambi reportedly stepped in at that time to take over the family that has been facing serious power struggles after a string of convictions and deaths left La Cosa Nostra without clear leadership. There is an apparent movement in Sicily to revive the dying mafia family.
Ligambi ran his mob family out of Philly. In 2011, he was arrested in a mass crackdown on gambling and racketeering charges. The 74-year-old mob boss was accused of illegally intimidating his way into the internet gambling scene, as well as securing illegal medical benefits through a front he was running. After a three week long deliberation, jurors acquitted Ligambi of all charges.
Over the last 14 years, the FBI and organized crime agencies had put a huge target on the back of the Philly mob boss. The multi-million dollar operation led to the conviction of 11 different mob related associates. The US Attorney’s office views that as a huge win, even if they could not get the man they ultimately wanted.
The latest failure to pin down Ligambi came on Friday, when jurors again cleared him of all charges, including witness tampering. In various interviews on Monday, jurors stated they felt prosecutors failed to produce credible witnesses in the case. Every person they marched to the stand had mafia ties, history of snitching, or owed someone money. Ligambi’s attorney, Edwin Jacobs Jr., hammered home the point that the government had no tangible evidence against his client.
The Philly mob bosses family was overjoyed at the news that they could be having lunch with Ligambi as early as Tuesday.
“It’s tough on the family to sit in court for three months,” Jacobs said. “Those trials aren’t enjoyable experiences.”
Though Ligambi still had three counts remaining against him, the inability to land any convictions through the six other counts ultimately led to the decision to drop the rest. After spending three years in jail, the Philly mob boss will be a free man again.