The Chicago Syndicate: Lawyers Ask to Bar Wife Tapes in Mob Trial

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Lawyers Ask to Bar Wife Tapes in Mob Trial

Friends of ours: Frank "Frankie Breeze" Calabrese Sr., James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, Frank "The German" Schweihs

Lawyers for Frank Calabrese Sr. have asked a Chicago judge not to let prosecutors play tapes of the alleged mob boss talking to his wife.

The tapes, made while Calabrese was in prison in Milan, Mich., include conversations about "German chocolate cake" and other "recipes," which federal prosecutors say are code words for illegal money collections from organized-crime activities, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Lawyers for Calabrese, known as "Frankie Breeze," and other reputed mob heavyweights -- including James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, Frank "The German" Schweihs -- want the tape recordings disallowed because of marital privilege. Marital privilege protects the contents of private communications between husband and wife.

Federal prosecutors argue both husbands and wives knew they were being tape-recorded during their prison phone chats and had no expectation of privacy, the Sun-Times said.

The case attempts to tie the men to 18 hits in what some observers call the most important prosecution ever against the Chicago mob.

Thanks to UPI

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