The headline on the website Gang Land News says it all: “Red Hot NY Lawyer Tacopina Gets Big Chill From Wiseguys.”
The headline was in reference to hotshot lawyer Joseph Tacopina, who was once the go-to guy for a lot of mobsters.
But no more — apparently not since he became a cooperating witness and dished info to the feds.
“While Tacopina has represented numerous wiseguys and cohorts of at least four New York area crime families in years past, his current roster of clients appears devoid of mob-tied customers, local court databases show,” writes Jerry Capeci, editor of Gang Land News.
Gang Land News reported that Tacopina’s wiseguy clients seemed to vanish after he found himself in the middle of a fee-splitting and tax evasion probe of a prominent New York lawyers and became a cooperating witness. Gang Land reported that the probe stemmed from an investigation into former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was a Tacopina client.
Gangland reported that Tacopina became a cooperating witness against Kerik and also told federal investigators that he had funneled about $100,000 to attorney Ronald Fischetti ” from legal fees that he had received from a client whom Fischetti had referred to him in a major state court prosecution.”
Gang Land reported that the fee splitting is not a crime, but could lead to disciplinary action. It can also lead to criminal tax problems. The investigation never lead to any criminal charges.
Still, Gang Land News quoted an unnamed defense attorney as saying:
“It’s an open secret that Tacopina threw Fischetti under the bus four years ago, and that’s a really big issue for wiseguys – and lots of lawyers too.”
Tacopina declined to comment for Gang Land News. Fischetti told the website that the allegations against him were not true.