Finally, Update on "Skinny Joey" Merlino's Fate

Merlino has a big date tomorrow.

Joey Merlino at 10 a.m. tomorrow will be standing before U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick.

The judge "will ultimately decide the short term future of the 52-year-old mobster. Merlino has to respond to a summons alleging he violated the terms of his supervised release by meeting with three convicted felons, including Philadelphia mob capo John Ciancaglini, in Florida on June 18," George Anastasia writes.

Merlino's attorneys said the meeting was nothing more "chance encounter" that was "much less nefarious that the government wants this court to believe."

Federal prosecutors said this argument was "laughable."

As reported in Parole Violation May Send Skinny Joey Back to Prison: Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino is coming back to Philadelphia -- and may even find himself in prison; the irony is that his court-ordered supervision was days away from expiring.

The "former Don" violated the terms of his release in June with a night on the town with John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini, a captain convicted with Merlino back in 2001. Also present were Brad Sirkin, a convicted fraudster and money launderer, and Frank Fiore, who has a record of his own and may have been the original target of the law enforcement operation. According to papers filed in a Philadelphia federal court last week, authorities in Broward County, Fla., conducted surveillance on a June 18 dinner at which Merlino joined the trio for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Boca Raton.

The foursome later departed for drinks at the Havana Nights Cigar Bar & Lounge, which Fiore owns. The terms of his probation prohibit Merlino from associating with convicted felons or Cosa Nostra members. Merlino was said to have sworn off the mob before moving to South Florida after his release from federal prison around three years ago.

As BigTrial further notes, Merlino has been cited for two alleged violations; the meeting was one and the other occurred in May, when Merlino refused to answer a prosecutor's question about any financial dealings he may have had with a suspected organized crime figure during a government deposition.

Merlino exercised his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

"Merlino was the leader of the Philadelphia family of the La Cosa Nostra," prosecutors wrote. "His suggestion that his meetings with convicted felons and LCN members and associates were mere 'chance encounters' is laughable, and is belied by the evidence. Equally preposterous is his suggestion that he did not know that he could not associate with the persons with whom he is alleged to have met."

Evidence and photos are available for the government to prove their allegations.


  1. I guess the boss forgot he wasnt allowed to associate with known criminals. Looks like more holidays in college for Joseph. Philly

  2. It was a "chance" encounter!! They're bbing him all the way....

  3. Ed, how was it a chance when after they met at the first place they all walked out together n drove to the cigar place together? Another question, when Merlino met up with Nicky Skins a couple years ago he made sure he told his PO about it, how is it now he didn't know he was suppose to do the sane especially with a codefendant who's labeled OC? Theirs no excuse, he let his guard down on this one.

  4. I know, I was is laughable.....


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