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FBI Paid Informants $500,000, Ignored Crimes in Weak Racketeering Case, Defense Lawyer Argued

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI spent more than $500,000 on informants and ignored their crimes to build a racketeering case that has “been on life support” for years, a veteran mob attorney said Monday, the Associated Press reports.

During closing arguments for the trial involving La Cosa Nostra under reputed boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, defense attorney Edwin Jacobs Jr. said the FBI’s case is shoddy.

“Things changed in 1999. They just don’t want to admit it. This indictment … has no guns, no knives, no explosives, no beatings, no killings,” Jacobs said, the AP reported. “You got nothing but some gambling talk and a couple of angry conversations.”

Deliberations are expected to begin today.

Prosecutors accuse Ligambi of operating an illegal enterprise centered on loansharking, sports betting and illegal video poker machines, the AP wrote. Anyone who didn’t pay up were threatened to be chopped up.

“The defense wants you to believe everyone in South Philadelphia talks like that every day of the week. That’s an insult to your intelligence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Han told jurors Monday.

Closing arguments concluded three months of testimony.


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