The Chicago Syndicate: The Clown to Enter Center Ring at MobTrial
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Clown to Enter Center Ring at MobTrial

Friends of ours: Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, James Marcello, Nick Calabrese, Michael Marcello

In the upcoming defense of the five men on trial in the Family Secrets case, there will be one star attraction: the Clown.

Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo will take the witness stand in his own defense, his attorney, Rick Halprin, said in court Wednesday as the prosecution all but wrapped up its case.

Lombardo's defense "obviously centers around his testimony," Halprin said. And he has been put at the highest levels of the Chicago Outfit in trial testimony. Lombardo, 78, has never testified in a criminal case in his own defense. He gave a deposition in a union proceeding and spoke to the judge before he was sentenced in a criminal case in the 1980s.

Halprin deferred his opening statement for Lombardo until after the prosecution rested its case. Halprin is expected to give his opening on Monday.

Lombardo has an alibi for the day Seifert was killed. He contends he was reporting his stolen wallet to police at the time of the murder.

Defense attorneys for other men on trial, including the reputed head of the Chicago mob, James Marcello, will say Monday whether their clients will take the stand too.

As prosecutors brought their case to a close Wednesday, they played several more secret tape recordings made when Marcello was visited by his half-brother, Michael, at a federal prison in Milan, Mich. The tapes appear to show great concern by the Marcellos over the cooperation of Nick Calabrese, a mob killer who has testified at the trial.

Michael Marcello was the owner of a company that put video gambling machines in bars in the western suburbs. IRS Revenue Agent Michael Welch testified that the company failed to report at least half its income from 1996 to 2003, to the tune of $4.3 million. A top mob investigator with the IRS, William Paulin, testified earlier that when he and other agents searched Michael Marcello's company in 2003, they found thousands of dollars in apparently unreported cash.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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