Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jury Selection Begins Today for Trial of Alleged Mobsters, Jerry Scalise, Art Rachel and Bobby Pullia

Don't let their age fool you.

That might be the message from prosecutors this week when three alleged Chicago mobsters -- Joseph "Jerry" Scalise, Arthur "The Genius" Rachel, and Robert "Bobby" Pullia -- go on trial. All the defendants are in their 70s.

Some people look towards pensions and 401k plans to get by when they retire, but prosecutors say these three defendants were looking for another way to find financial security in their golden years.

Prosecutors say Scalise, Rachel, and Pullia were planning to rob the Southside family home of the late Angelo LaPietra when they were arrested outside the mansion in April 2012. There was speculation that the famous 45 karat Marlborough diamond was hidden inside the home of the late mob boss. The diamond still hasn't been found.

Scalise and Rachel had already been busted in 1980 for stealing the diamond from a London jewelry store. They served 13 years behind bars.

Prosecutors said they were trying to profit from the home invasion in addition to plotting to rob a West Suburban bank.

Their lawyers insist they're innocent.

Scalise in recent years hadn't been shy about his past and even served as a consultant to the Paramount movie "Public Enemies," in which Johnny Depp played John Dillinger.

Jury selection begins Tuesday morning, opening statements could come by the afternoon or maybe Wednesday. The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

Thanks to Larry Yellen

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