Informant: Philly Boss Threatened DJ Jerry Blavat

From SFGate: A mob insider riveted jurors in a Philadelphia mob case Tuesday and raised eyebrows when he said the accused La Cosa Nostra boss on trial once threatened to kill oldies disc jockey Jerry Blavat.

Loan shark Lou "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello has regaled a federal courtroom for days with tales of the mob's bravado and business endeavors.

The unusual testimony from a mob turncoat comes in the racketeering trial of accused Philadelphia boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, alleged underboss Joseph "Mousie" Massimino and five others. The case mainly involves loansharking and sports betting in the Philadelphia region.

Prosecutors argue that Ligambi has mostly used threats — some recorded by the FBI — to run the mob since former boss Joey Merlino went to prison in 1999.

On the stand Tuesday, Monacello said Ligambi had threatened to kill Blavat over the DJ's suspected help with a 2009 Philadelphia Magazine article. The 72-year-old Blavat owns a bar near Atlantic City, N.J., that the witness called a mob hangout.

"If I were Jerry Blavat, I'd be nervous," Monacello testified.

Blavat, known as "the Geator with the Heater," later said he's never been aware of any beef with Ligambi.

"I know Joe Ligambi and his entire family. We grew up together in South Philadelphia," Blavat said. "Here it is 2012, and I'm still alive."

Monacello testified in some detail Tuesday about his work as a loan shark for La Cosa Nostra. With money fronted by Ligambi, he said, he lent money to mob underlings at 20 percent interest before they loaned it out at a usurious 30 percent rate. Monacello sometimes had $100,000 or more in loans on the street, he said.

On cross-examination from Ligambi lawyer Edwin Jacobs, Monacello admitted that he had enjoyed a successful 16-year run as a loan shark. He also owned a restaurant and several fitness businesses.

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