February 09, 2018
Philly mob boss Joey Merlino allegedly encountered a juror in his racketeering trial — and brought some friends with him.
The New York Post reports the unidentified juror told federal Judge Richard Sullivan that Merlino spoke to her while she was waiting for an elevator inside a Manhattan courthouse Wednesday.
She told the Post that "Skinny Joey" Merlino had his "crew" with him, but that the interaction didn't intimidate her, and she told Sullivan it wouldn't affect her ability to be fair and impartial in the case.
Sullivan reiterated to Merlino that he is to have no contact with jurors.
Merlino faces federal charges of racketeering and conspiracy, as prosecutors allege he returned to organized crime while running a restaurant in Boca Raton, Fla., with a health care fraud scheme.
The 55-year-old mobster is one of several co-defendants in the case, but the only one with ties to Philadelphia. Merlino has rejected plea deals and maintains he did nothing wrong.
It's been a rough week in court for Merlino. The Post also reports that a witness and former mobster testified Wednesday that Merlino had a mistress, prompting his wife, Deborah, to walk out of the courtroom.