Ligambi Jury Reaches Partial Verdict; Specter of Third Trial Rises

"Uncle Joe" Ligambi could be facing trial number three...
The jury in the racketeering conspiracy retrial of old-school Philly mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his nephew, George Borgesi, has reached a partial verdict, but it won't be made public until Tuesday (Monday is a holiday).

Before recessing on Friday, the jury sent the judge a note saying it had reached a verdict on two of the five counts, but remained hung on the other three.

The note highlighted that there was a "firm difference of opinion" over the remaining charges.

Ligambi, 74, is charged with racketeering conspiracy, two counts of illegal gambling and one count of witness tampering. The case against him includes secretly recorded conversations, most of which involve other mobsters as well as cooperators.

Borgesi, 50, faces a single count of racketeering conspiracy that is built primarily on informants' testimony; the consensus of court watchers says that Borgesi's fate depends on whether or not the jurors believe any of the two turncoats that provided testimony during trial.

If jurors voted for guilt on the conspiracy charge, it could lead to sentences of 10 years or more.

But if racketeering conspiracy is among the three charges on which the jury is hung -- which is what happened in the first trial -- the issue will become whether the government would opt to try the two defendants a third time.

For context, John Gotti Junior was hit with four racketeering trials, all of which ended in mistrials. In January 2010, federal prosecutors announced that they would no longer seek to prosecute Gotti for the charges. However, unlike in the Ligambi trial, the charges against Junior included serious violence: murder, drug trafficking, loan sharking and kidnapping.
However, unlike in the Ligambi trial, the charges against Junior included serious violence: murder, drug trafficking, loansharking and kidnapping.

The issue of bail would likely be raised if a third trial becomes the potential scenario; the two defendants have been held since May 2011.

According to Anastasia, one friend told Ligambi: "I cut two pounds of soppressata (for a victory celebration). It'll wait til Tuesday."

Ligambi smiled and nodded.


  1. Anyone have an opinion as to whether Gotti Jr. is actually out of the rackets? Or is this just his cover story?


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