Philly Mob Lawyer Dies; Had Been Target of Planned Mob Hit

Donald C. Marino
Donald C. Marino, one of Philadelphia's busiest attorneys, who went on to became chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, died Monday, at age 74. He had lived in Longport, N.J., and had died of congestive heart failure.

In a report on, it's noted that Marino hadn't known he was "one of the targets of the vengeful mob boss John Stanfa in 1993" until three years after the fact. He was asked by Daily News reporter Kitty Caparella in 1996 if he had known about the contract, to which Marino replied, "This is the first I'm hearing about this."

Obviously, he was pretty pissed off about it. "The government never said anything. Usually if they pick up anything, they tell people about it," he told Caparella.

Mob informant Sergio Battaglia, a former hit man, told this to the FBI when they debriefed him prior to his giving testimony in mob trials.

"Battaglia said Stanfa, who led the Philadelphia mob from 1991 to 1995 and is now serving five consecutive life sentences, ordered his hit squad to kill Marino, as well as fellow lawyer Joseph C. Santaguida and the Inquirer's former organized crime reporter, George Anastasia," the report added.

The plot on Anastasia was more specific than the others -- the Stanfa gang was going to toss hand grenades into the reporter's South Jersey home.

None of the plans went anywhere however.

Marino had represented Rosario Conti Bellocchi, who was engaged to Stanfa's daughter; the case, in Montgomery County, included an attempted kidnapping. Bellocchi later testified against Stanfa in the former boss's big racketeering trial.

Marino, who was chancellor of the Bar Association in 1984, had previosuly been the proverbial "mob lawyer" for part of his career. He'd also represented a defendant in the 1987 trial of Roofers Union officials accused of bribing judges, as well as other mob figures. He took on many high-profile trials when he was a private lawyer; he'd formerly been an assistant district attorney.