The Chicago Syndicate: Lawyers Look to Ditch Reputed Mobsters Over Money

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Lawyers Look to Ditch Reputed Mobsters Over Money

Defense attorneys for two of the three Chicago hoodlums who were arrested last April for allegedly plotting bank heists, are asking to withdraw because their clients are broke.

Marc Martin and Terrence Gillespie will appeal to U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber on September 7th saying they do not want to work for free, or pro bono, on behalf of Robert "Bobby" Pullia, 69 or Arthur "The Genius" Rachel, 71. According to motions filed this week, Martin and Gillespie will tell the judge that the Outfit-related case has "over 50 hours of recordings and many hours of surveillance video," according to motions filed Tuesday.

This comes two weeks after a hearing at which Judge Leinenweber asked Pullia, Rachel and a third defendant Joseph "Jerry" Scalise, 73 if they had issues with being represented by attorneys from a related law firm. The judge noted that such an arrangement could result in conflict of interests during legal proceedings. The men agreed to have the attorneys continue their representation and waived any future conflict claims.

Pullia and Rachel are out on bond. Scalise was granted bond but prosecutors are appealing and he remains in custody pending the a district court ruling. Scalise was part of a gangland hit squad and involved in numerous mob murders, according to government filings in the case.
Federal authorities say they arrested the three aging mob figures as they were preparing to rob the Bridgeport mansion of deceased Chinatown Outfit boss Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra. The men were arrested outside the LaPietra home with burglary tools, guns, ammo and communications equipment, according to federal agents.

At the time, mobologists speculated that Scalise and crew were going into LaPietra's former castle-like residence to retrieve the famous Marlborough diamond-missing since a daring daylight burglary in 1980. The 45-carat diamond was stolen from Graff Jewelers in London, UK. Scalise and Rachel were arrested as they arrived at O'Hare Airport that evening, sans diamond.

Although both men were convicted in the theft of the diamond-among $4 million in stolen gems-and served time in a British penitentiary, the royal Marlborough diamond was never recovered.

Some investigators have long held that the huge diamond was mailed to mob bosses in Chicago.

Thanks to Ann Pistone and Chuck Goudie

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