Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Supreme Court Rejects Mobster's Appeal

Friends of ours: Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti, Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo
Friends of mine: Leonard Pelullo

The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to decide whether defendants should get new trials when prosecutors withhold evidence. The court rebuffed an appeal by a reputed mob associate convicted of looting a small New Jersey printing company's pension fund.

In the 1990s, Leonard Pelullo, a Miami businessman, was investigated by federal authorities in Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Federal officials raided a large warehouse in Miami, where they seized 904 boxes, 114 file cabinets and 10 file drawers containing documents from Pelullo's 25 companies. Before his trial, prosecutors insisted they had not found any documents that would have helped Pelullo's defense to the New Jersey charges.

He was convicted and sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison in 1997 for siphoning $4.2 million from Compton Press' pension and retirement funds after he took control of the firm and put it out of business. Pelullo's lawyers later discovered what a federal judge described as "a mass" of evidence that could have helped Pelullo contradict several government witnesses. The judge ordered a new trial for Pelullo. But the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed, saying prosecutors had given Pelullo and his lawyers numerous chances to review the documents. The appellate court also said Pelullo should've know what was in the records because they were his.

Pelullo also was convicted in Philadelphia on fraud and racketeering charges. Mob informant Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti, a former underboss of the Philadelphia Mafia, testified in that case that Pelullo was an associate of his uncle, convicted mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Mafia Library

Crime Family Index