A reputed Philadelphia mob boss may again fight off a conviction after a gambling and racketeering retrial.
A jury Friday has acquitted 74-year-old Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi of witness tampering and remains deadlocked on three other charges. They must now decide if the deadlock is final.
The jury also acquitted Ligambi's nephew, George Borgesi, of racketeering conspiracy. He could be released after a decade in prison on another case.
U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said he was disappointed in today's outcome, but appreciated the time and effort the jury devoted to the case.
"To put today’s verdict in context, the government has shown throughout this prosecution that members of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra family have engaged in substantial criminal activity that warrants serious punishment," Memeger said in a statement. "In this case, the government has convicted 11 defendants of racketeering and related offenses, and the Court has sentenced them to significant prison terms. This excellent result could not have been achieved without the dedicated investigative and prosecutorial efforts of our law enforcement and trial teams.”
Mob turncoats who testified paint Ligambi as the head of a fading La Cosa Nostra crime family. Prosecutors have been pursuing him for years.
At the first trial last year, the jury acquitted Ligambi of five counts, while deadlocking on four. But an alleged underboss was convicted and sentenced to 15 years.
Defense lawyers call the case a witch hunt.