Thursday, April 24, 2014

DiMichele Changes Plea After Anti-Mafia Judge Sides with Union

Just a crazy gal! Alicia DiMichele stands
outside her Addiction boutique clothing
store, presumably smiling for paparazzi
As we've long noted,  Judge Sandra Townes does not go easy on organized crime figures in her courtroom.

The surprising twist that played out yesterday in Alicia DiMichele's case in Brooklyn Federal Court stems from Judge Townes' view that DiMichele should pay millions in fines and restitution to a union's benefits fund, which DiMichele had originally plead guilty to pilfering as per a Colombo family racket. 

In the end, Judge Townes accepted a figure even larger than the hefty $116,000 prosecutors had been seeking, versus the $20,000 amount originally agreed to.

Although it may or may not have had an impact on Judge Townes's decision (though considering DiMichele's lawyer's harsh words for the reailty show, we kinda believe it did have an impact on the decision), it appears that DiMichele certainly didn't help herself when she agreed to appear on the show "Mob Wives." It was, to put it plain and simple, a dumb thing to do...

DiMichele, the wife (or ex-wife? we still don't know) of Colombo soldier Edward (Tall Guy) Garofalo, Jr., withdrew her guilty plea for embezzling union funds from the trucking company she and her husband owned, and also revealed that she had earlier resigned from the reality TV show “Mob Wives.”.

In fact, DiMichele submitted a resignation letter to the VH1 cable channel three weeks ago, according to the Daily News.

DiMichele didn't talk outside the courthouse, according to the Daily News.


In January, it was revealed that DiMichele, who was to be sentenced yesterday for her role in the Colombo crime family-related embezzlement scam, was facing a much larger fine than the initial agreed-upon figure of $20,000. This came about as a result of her accepting a role on "Mob Wives," a move that she probably regrets now.

Prosecutors raised the fine to a hefty $116,000 for the embezzling of $40,000 from a trucking company's union fund when they filed papers in which they documented that DiMichele was cashing in on her mobbed-up notoriety and was earning about $8,000 per episode, for a total of $96,000. Furthermore, she had also used her new brand appeal to capitalize on her ownership of an upscale clothing boutique located in the tony Cherry Hill section of Philadelphia by opening another shop.

As we reported: after she accepted the "Mob Wives" gig this past summer, the feds asked Federal Judge Sandra Townes to have DiMichele's financial status reevaluated to include her income from the TV show. The feds wanted the information to determine how much to fine her.

By quitting the show, “The word is that she trying to present a better image to the judge,” one source told the Daily News. “She’s trying to fix her image.”

Judge Townes, known for taking a strong stand against organized crime figures, had been focused on the amount of restitution DiMichele, 40, owes Teamsters Local 282, which the general counsel for the union’s benefits fund has pegged at $2.8 million, including 18% interest, according to the News. which added that Townes said she could not accept the lower figure and let DiMichele take back her guilty plea.


“We expect there will be a new plea that satisfies the government and the defense without having her potentially liable for $2 million in restitution,” defense lawyer John Wallenstein said, according to the News.

Wallenstein, no fan of the show, fought for his client back in January, as reported.
Prosecutors are demanding a "vastly excessive" $96,000 fine; the reality show "Mob Wives" caters "to people who have no lives of their own." 
The show does not "demonize the government" or "glorify organize crime and those who participate in it."

"Ms. DiMichele makes clear in the show that she is devastated by the position she finds herself in, and regrets what she has done. She expresses anger at her husband, remorse for her acts, and accepts that she will be punished at sentencing. 
"Acting in a television show, regardless of its content, is not a criminal act. Had she chosen to act in a prime time show like Mad Men or NCIS, for example, would the government argue that everything she earned should be taken?" Mob Wives "is scripted and edited like any other (show), with scenes and lines taken out of context for dramatic effect. 
"Anyone who has seen any of the episodes in which Ms. DiMichele appears would draw the conclusion that it hardly glorifies 'mob' lifestyle. In reality the show is about a group of women, loosely connected by their so-called affiliation with organized crime, arguing and fighting amongst themselves over petty grievances for the viewing pleasure of people who have no lives of their own. 
Natalie Guercio on the right....
"The show essentially portrays five women who argue and engage in physical altercations over ridiculous things, and the only common element is that each of them has some distant connection to a man who is alleged to have ties to organized crime. 
"The sad fact of 21st century life is that people will pay large sums of money to produce shows of this nature, which pander to the basest instincts of a society growing less intelligent by the day."
He said a lot more: see the story.

Under the plea deal, DiMichele faced up to six months in prison. And since her husband pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy — not the embezzling charge — she faces the full amount of restitution, the News reported.

Garofalo, 46, was sentenced last December to seven years in prison.

Radar Online reported that, according to court records obtained by the website, DiMichele had asked the judge to allow her estranged husband to come to her sentencing hearing and to delay his transfer to FCI Berlin prison in New Hampshire.
“He is willing to testify and has been served with a subpoena… However, if Mr. Garofalo is transferred, we will be compelled to seek an Order returning him to MDC to be held pending the hearing and that may result in delay of the proceedings,” she stated in the documents.
“It would certainly cause unnecessary expense, as Mr. Garofalo would have to be transported back and forth to New Hampshire twice.”
"The judge has signed off on the order, which orders the warden at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., to keep Eddie in custody until the hearing. 
"In the documents, the judge commands that Eddie “remain under safe and secure conduct at the Metropolitan Detention Center” and the warden “shall provide such suitable quarters and provide for the safekeeping, care and subsistence of EDWARD GAROFALO, JR. as is necessary until the conclusion of a hearing presently scheduled for April 23, 2014." 


Cosa Nostra News: Philadelphia Mob Wives Files


Cosa Nostra News: All Things Mob Wives

1 comment :

  1. Why is there not a clear answer as to whether or not Alicia and Edward are still married? There are contradictory reports all over the news. I am curious as to why this is so hush hush? ~kj

    ReplyDelete