Scarfo Jr. Sought to Retake the Philly Mafia

Nicodemo S. Scarfo and pal Salvatore Pelullo are slated to face the music (though it's continually been postponed) for their efforts to steal around $12 million from FirstPlus Financial. Scarfo, 49, the son of imprisoned mob boss Nicodemo D. "Little Nicky" Scarfo, faces nearly life in prison, as does Pelullo, 47, an associate who helped loot the Texas-based mortgage company.

Also scheduled for next week: yet another meeting as per the defense's efforts to win a new trial by maintaining that the jury in the FirstPlus case never should've been exposed to any mob-related discovery material.

Nicky Scarfo Jr was shot six times while dining here. He and walked out
of the hospital a week later, having suffered only flesh wounds.

The trial of Scarfo and Pelullo did not involve the Mafia, defense attorneys contend. Therefore, the prosecution's references to the mob "prejudiced the jury and [served] to glamorize and sensationalize an otherwise mundane financial case, defense attorneys have argued," as George Anastasia noted on BigTrial.

However, U.S. Attorney Steven D'Aguanno acknowledged repeatedly "that references to the mob were relevant and that the multi-million dollar fraud was carried out in large part because of the fear and intimidation that Pelullo used by alluding to his mob ties to Scarfo."

In fact, the defense's theory is that the probe's origin was largely a result of an FBI effort to "track the younger Scarfo's attempt to retake control of the Philadelphia crime family his jailed father once headed."

His earliest parole date is 2033, when "Little Nicky" will be 103 years old.

This part of the case piques our interest much more than the financial fraud in Texas.
While siphoning some $12 million from the mortgage company, "Scarfo was also maneuvering to re-establish himself in South Jersey and align himself with mob figures who might support his underworld power grab."

The Feds presented little evidence to bolster this "story line" during the trial. They did highlight the fact that Scarfo Jr. was a member of New York's Luchese crime family (not the Philly Cosa Nostra family) and that Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, boss of the Luchese family, allowed Scarfo to join the New York crime family essentially to save the young man's life.

Scarfo Junior during FirstPlus Trial. He is to be
sentenced next week.

Amuso, at the time, shared a cell with Scarfo Senior. Both were supposed to get a piece of FirstPlus.

In fact Amuso and "Little Nicky" were named as unindicted co-conspirators in the FirstPlus case.

The jury also heard about the 1989 Halloween Eve hit on Scarfo Jr., who was shot and nearly killed while dining with others at Dante & Luigi's Restaurant.

The masked shooter had strode into the front dining room after 7 p.m. and fired six shots into Scarfo, who fell to the floor in a growing puddle of blood. (None of the bullets struck a vital organ and he was out of the hospital a week later.)

The gunman made his exit as the patrons and restaurant employees screamed and scrambled for cover. He leaped into a car that had pulled up and drove away. A semiautomatic MAC-9 machine pistol was found on a sidewalk near the restaurant.

At the time, Scarfo Jr. was supposedly trying to run the street for his imprisoned father, who is faulted for driving the Philly Cosa Nostra into the ground. About 20 mob figures were killed during his reign.

Law-enforcement officials noted there had been a history of hostility between the younger Scarfo and Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, who was the shooter, according to informants.

"Skinny Joey," in a Florida prison until May 5, was said to have deliberately dropped the gun to send a message to “Little Nicky” Scarfo, who apparently loves the film The Godfather, especially the "restaurant scene" in which Michael Corleone dispatches two enemies of the Corleone family with the aplomb of a true WWII veteran.

Original Thrust of Fed's Probe
An affidavit "offers an intriguing look at the Philadelphia - South Jersey underworld in 2006," as Anastasia writes. The original thrust of the probe was the takeover of the Philadelphia mob by Scarfo Jr.

From his Atlanta prison cell, "Little Nicky" Scarfo backed his son's efforts to take control of the crime family from Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, a former Scarfo ally.

New York's Luchese crime family backed Scarfo's play; in fact, Scarfo Jr. lived in North New Jersey under the protection of the Lucheses before moving to the Atlantic City area in 2006.

According to BigTrial:

Whether the younger Scarfo had a chance to retake control of the family is an open question. It is hard to imagine many mobsters lining up behind him in a clash with Ligambi. The FBI affidavit said that one confidential source indicated Scarfo had approached Joseph Ciancaglini Jr. , the son of then jailed Scarfo family capo Joseph "Chickie" Ciancaglini. The source, according to the affidavit, said Scarfo approached Ciancaglini and asked if "he wanted to be with" him in a power grab....

See complete story at BigTrial.... 


  1. Hi Ed it pretty much makes sense why the philly faction and Luchese faction were at odds in the joint. He was living just outside AC at the time in Ventnor city. Staino and others were looking for him but never got the chance to pop him. He later moved to Egg harbor Twp with his then wife when another investigation started in the first plus scandal at which time the boys from philly got wind to lay low and later Jr was arrested for first plus scandal and i think uncle Joe and them were arrested later for the Gambling and racketeer case not sure of the dates im thinking jr was arrested beteween 2008 and 2009 and uncle Joe and them 2010 or 2011 just guessing though. Philly

  2. Scarfo jr didn't have a prayer trying to take control of Philly, all the guys around ligambi were guys from the neighborhood who were sons n nephews of guys ligambi grew up with, Scarfo jr grew up in Atlant City n didn't have a clue about south philly, this is all fantasy, it might of been discussed between Scarfo sr n Amuso but it would never of materialize as we all know it didn't, as for Scarfo jr approaching Joey Chang? He might of but that wouldnt of done anything even if Joey agreed, for those that don't know, Joey was the guy who got shot by Merlinos crew in the Stanfa war, he was shot five times n survived but is physically n mentally disabled from the shooting, hence why it wouldn't matter if he agreed or not.

  3. Joe "Skinny" Merlino is controlling Philly now.

  4. Do you think Staino was actively looking for Scarfo Jr? Not saying he wasn't, I just have a hard time believing Staino would actually be out looking to clip anybody; any other guy in the philly crew, yea, but Staino... I have have a hard time believing he was doing anything but making excuses for why he couldn't find the guy. Just seems like they would have given a job like that to a more capable dirty work guy.
    Which speaking of Staino, I wonder what kind of position he will be in when he gets out in 2020?

  5. No mike it was a crew i heard his name at the time he was Uncle Joes Lt i think Marty was underboss right before he went back in and the others i would guess were Damien!,lance,Tony nicks but when he moved to EHTwp ship they stoped probably was easier down the shore they had apartments in different peoples names a couple bookies i believe. Philly

  6. From what I gathered the deal that was made between little nicky and amuso was that scarfo jr jumps ships and be protected by the luchese family in exchange when the time was right scarfo jr makes a power grab from skinny joey and amuso gets a percentage. Not sure if its true but it makes a good story. Anyones thoughts or input?

  7. Sounds correct though I'm not sure power move was for Lucheses. Sounds like he was trying to act as a street boss for his father, no one went for it.... they tried killing him, so he went under the Luchese's flag, which gave Amuso a piece of whatever he did.

  8. Ed, that's exactly what happened! When Scarfo Jt got shot that was the message to his father that his days of Scarfo running things were over. Scarfo sr then had Amuso take Jr into the luchese family to protect his son, I will say this about Scarfo jr, the kid knew how to make money, he's not like Merlino n his crew who have no clue other than extorting people, the kid made major money for the luchese, he did time for a major gambling ring he had going on on the Internet plus this 12 million dollar scam with this recent trial, , takes a lot of smarts to get into a major company then take control of it like he did. Got caught in the end but they all do, gotta give him his props.

  9. Hey lou could u see Nicky Jr trying to explain this scam to Uncle Joe and Joeys Guys. The only ones who would have a clue would be Billy Motto and Staino. Lol philly

  10. Philly, That would be a site, Jr explaining it n everyone looking at him with that confused look on their faces, that would be classic lol

  11. Like the commercial Priceless!! Lol Philly

  12. Well she is half Italian

  13. What a shame about Scarfo Jr. The guy seemed like he had the intelligence to run a major company without being a mob guy. He'll probably get 25-30 years and die in jail.

  14. Ever since Angelo Bruno was whacked, Philly has been in a state of utter disarray. Bruno gets whacked, no permission, everyone gets whacked that was associated with it, then a year later Phil Testa, the next boss, gets whacked with no permission, with a nail bomb of all things, everyone gets whacked that was involved.Then Nicky Scarfo, the worst boss loose cannon ever, has super paranoia, killing people on a "whim" Making guys that should have never been made just because they were "earners" Scarfo's own nephew rolled over on him, and the rats come out in full force under Scarfo. Then everybody either become a rat or got a minimum of 30 years.
    Then comes the Stanfa era, gun battles in the street between the Stanfa side and the Merlino side, one of the Chang brothers gets killed by a crew led by his own brother, another Chang brother is maimed for life. Then Joey Merlino takes over, more chaos, but toned down Ralph Natalie rolls over, among others. Joey Merlino gets 15, then Uncle Joe takes over, not a bad era, they killed just 3 guys in the era, then Nicodemo pulls off one of the dumbest hits in the history of the mafia. This sounds more like the Wild West going into the 21 century, than the organization known as LCN.
    The "Guys" in NYC think guys from Philly are crazy. And they are

  15. That's why the Philly mob is the Philly mob!! What interests me is the fact that the Genovese family most likely manipulated the hit on Bruno... But Scarfo's guys supposedly pulled off the actual Commission-sanctioned hits... Seems to convey potential for some interesting underlying dynamics...

  16. i seen Joey perna put fear in Nicky jr's heart. He ain't built like his pops. He may be stand up but he's an earner and that's it. Which is fine, everyone plays a position. His mistake was thinking he was something else which really was his pops putting that in his head. Since when is it cool to get shot and not shoot back? This life really is watered down. I'm guilty of falling in love with the romantic side of it all but it's a fantasy. I'm thirty. I spent the past six years in and out including three down prison. When mike cetta( he's passed on summer 2013 and is related to the pernas through marriage) came to south Paterson and got the breaks beaten off him by a guy that had been shooting on his lines for years and Joey P watched .... I lost alotta respect for this life. Yea he probably figured the money ain't worth getting pinched over some stupid shit on a Paterson bak block but there was zero retaliation. There is no fear of made guys anymore except a chosen few. Mike taccetta is home now and he's sure to make some noise but his brother is never leaving Trenton state. I just seen him down there and his appeal was turned down again. This shit is a disaster. It makes me sick. We have no stand up loyal guys. The pernas and taccettas fro, jersey are all related so that's why they stand tall on all this shit. Mike cetta died of an OD... Gianni Iacovo just died Nov 27th of the same thing and he was a known cooperater in that operatin heat case. if u follow me.... Then the pernas are some slippery fucks especially being cetta was family. And maybe that's why joe p didn't get involved that day on Dey st. In Paterson. Nonetheless.... It's over except for a chosen few. Me... I'm a family man now. I got my couple players but aside from that Im legit. trust me it breaks my heart.

    1. Are you saying you think Gianni was given a bad batch? He did one line that morning and that was that.

  17. I follow the 5 families , chi outfit, Detroit partnership, but don't know a whole lot about questions would b is Merlino really #1 and about how many made guys / soldiers do they have (roughly) and in ur opinions is the Philly mobs power way down or are they becoming more powerful? I suppose I could wiki this but u ppl seem to know a lot also , anyway thx n I hope to have more conversations #prouditalian#

  18. But Michael did a better job!


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