What East Coast LCN Enterprise?!?! Another Mob Case Bites the Dust

The biggest crook in the so-called East Coast LCN Enterprise case just may have been turncoat John (J.R.) Rubeo Jr.

In the end, he stole the Feds' case.

Now they've had to drop the most serious charges in the indictment and are on bent knee  begging defendants to cop to plea deals.

JR Rubeo

Rubeo wore a wire against many defendants in the case, including the two alleged highest-ranking ones, Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello and Joseph Merlino.

Rubeo was a Genovese crime family associate who became a cooperating witness because he had major legal problems of his own and wanted to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.

Rubeo worked in New York for Genovese skipper Parrello, who sent him to Florida to work for reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino as part of an alleged health care fraud racket that had something to do with prescription compound pain relief creams. (They were actually making a ton of money from this racket, as this kind of cream sells for about 100 times the manufacturing cost.)

That health-care fraud, plus other alleged crime, led to Merlino, Parrello and 44 other alleged mobsters getting indicted last August.

Back then, the press depicted the East Coast LCN Enterprise as another Mafia Takedown Day, which is actually fitting, considering how that case also was overbilled.

Gang Land News, which has been reporting about problems from the beginning, is now reporting that the Feds are dropping the indictment's top charges and are pushing "for plea deals in the massive eight-month-old case."

The indictment's "two biggest Mafia fish... Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino and Genovese capo Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello" are among the many who are poised to benefit from this.

According to Gang Land News sources, "the veteran Mafiosi, and many others, will slide on racketeering conspiracy charges that carry longer sentences. Instead, they will be allowed to cop pleas to the substantive crimes they are charged with, like gambling, extortion, and health care fraud."
One of the alleged mobsters arrested in the East Coast LCN Enterprise case.

These revelations developed fresh on the heels of news about FBI misconduct. 

As Gang Land reported last month, prosecutors informed defense lawyers about an internal FBI inquiry "into potential wrongdoing by three veteran New York agents."

Imagine what Gerald Shargel could do with that in the courtroom....

The agents allegedly "hid investigative reports and tape recordings made by (Rubio) to keep the information from other FBI field offices."

Rubeo first "double-crossed his underworld cronies" by recording "hundreds of conversations" that "linked them to numerous crimes," then he "double-crossed the feds, deleting a year's worth of phone calls and text messages" between Rubeo and many of the indicted.

Of all those charged with belonging to the racketeering conspiracy dubbed the East Coast LCN Enterprise, 13 defendants face specific charges for illegal gambling, and three for selling untaxed cigarettes, as GangLand reported.  All things sais, they face maybe two years in prison, in the end.

However, those who are charged with health care fraud or extortion, or with more than one specific crime, as many others are, likely will face more time.

But the bottom line is that "in most cases, not pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges would lower the sentencing guidelines significantly," Gang Land News reported.

According to a March 8 government "discovery" letter to defense lawyers, there were seven areas of potential wrongdoing by FBI agents. The agents aren't named in the letter, but Jerry Capeci learned their identities and named them in news stories. That's called excellent journalism.

The letter also included information about Rubeo, specifically, that prosecutors "first learned in November that Rubeo "had conducted a factory reset of the cellphone in or about August of 2016" and that the last time the phone had "been imaged by the FBI" was on July 31, 2015. Between that date, and last August, the prosecutors wrote, many of the lost "calls and text messages were captured by the FBI on a computer system that records calls and messages" but "some communications between (Rubeo) and certain defendants may not have been preserved."

Yes, I am still working on part two of Sal Romano's story; please note that those kinds of stories, as much as I love writing them, are problematic. I only have x number of hours per week to work on this blog and when one story takes up a tremendous amount of time, the blog comes to a virtual stop.

So I will finish up the story about one of the wealthiest members of the Gambino crime family in due time but you may see a few other stories posted first.