The Chicago Syndicate: Jerry Scalise
Showing posts with label Jerry Scalise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jerry Scalise. Show all posts

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Did the Judge Grant a Favor in Sentencing Jerry "The Monk" Scalise?

One of Chicago's most notorious mobsters was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday. But Jerry Scalise's sentence wasn't as long as it could have been.

In this Intelligence Report: Why a federal judge did a favor for Scalise's lawyer.

At the age of 74, Outfit legend Jerry "The Monk" Scalise has what federal prosecutors call an "unbroken history of criminal conduct." So, Scalise wouldn't seem to qualify for favors or special treatment by the justice system. But, Wednesday, that is just what he received when his lawyer asked for a favor in open court; and, even more surprising, received it.

Even as he was a special consultant on the Johnny Depp film about Dillinger, federal authorities say Jerry Scalise was plotting crimes for the Chicago Outfit.

The FBI had Scalise and his burglary crew under surveillance, and in 2010, the trio was arrested in mid-scheme. Scalise pleaded guilty to planning the take down of an armored car and a break-in at the home of a deceased Outfit boss.

Wednesday in court, prosecutors ticked off dozens of crimes Scalise has committed since 1960, including the 1980 theft of the 45-carat Marlborough diamond, still missing.

Assistant U.S. attorney Amarjeet Bhachu said Scalise did crimes for the thrill of hurting people and taking things, and requested a prison sentence of nearly 10 years.

Then Scalise's attorney Ed Genson asked for what he called "one favor for a man who probably doesn't deserve it": Mercy, the lowest legal sentence of eight years and 10 months.

Judge Harry Leinenweber, saying he probably shouldn't grant such a favor, did so anyway.

"It's unusual that I would ask," said Genson. "On the other hand, I don't usually step up for people who I've known for almost 40 years...Jerry Scalise is an extraordinarily exceptional man, exceptional family, he's erudite, he's gregarious, He's just an all-around good person. He's wasted his life. He knows it. This is sad for me because I'm fond of him. Hopefully he will have a few years out and make up for whatever he has done."

The I-Team asked Bhachu if he was surprised the judge granted the lawyer's requested favor. "Our response in court was that this is a man who is not deserving of mercy," said Bhachu. "He's a man who throughout his life has committed crimes and has appeared before any number of judges to be sentenced, and it seems from our position in court-- it seems somewhat incredible that you should be given mercy when you have devoted yourself over your life to the commission of criminal activity."

The rest of Jerry Scalise's mob crew is going to prison too. Wednesday, Robert Pullia received the same sentence as Scalise, after pleading guilty.

Previously, Art "The Genius" Rachel was convicted at trial and sentenced to about 8 and a half years.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chicago Geriaric Mob Trio Trial Delayed Over DNA Tests

The so-called ''geriatric trio'' of Chicago mobsters will have to wait a few months for their day in court.

The federal court trial of Jerry Scalise, Art Rachel and Robert Pullia was to start on July 11, and as avid craps players know, that date -- 7/11 -- is considered good luck and a natural win. Now, though, a delay in some evidence tests ordered by the prosecution means the trial for the Outfit's "geriatric trio" will no longer roll on 7/11.

It has been nearly 15 months since the geriatric troika was arrested in its latest Outfit racket: Armed invasions of several suburban banks and a break-in at the home of a deceased mob boss.

The leader of the 70-somethings is Scalise, a long-time Outfit burglar and repeat ex-con who seemed to have been going straight, working as a consultant on Dillinger and other gangster films shot in Chicago. But, according to prosecutors, Scalise was plotting new crimes even as he aided the fictional accounts on film.

In May, FBI agents served warrants on Scalise's head, demanding hair samples for DNA tests to compare with hair strands found on masks that were allegedly to be used in the hold-ups.

Pullia also provided hair samples to the government.

Art Rachel, known as "The Genius," was not required to pluck any samples.

In court Wednesday, the government said that DNA testing of hair samples was still under way. With defense attorneys willing to wait for the results of hair tests that they hope will clear their clients, a new trial date of September 19 was set.

Thirty-one years ago, the case that made Scalise and Rachel famous was the daring theft of the 41-carat Marlborough diamond from a London jeweler. They were convicted and did lengthy prison sentences in the UK in a case that had no DNA sampling because the use of DNA testing was still a few years away in criminal cases.

This time around, with DNA center stage, attorneys for the mobsters contend that U.S. prosecutors shouldn't have waited a year to do the hair tests.

The September trial date is tentative and it may be later than that. There was even talk of a possible December date. Judge Harry Leinenweber said the whole thing was "screwing up my schedule."

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oscar D'Angelo, "Mayor of Little Italy", on Mob Trial Witness List

Two weeks from now Chicago's latest Outfit trial is scheduled to start in federal court. A trio of aging Chicago mobsters face racketeering/burglary charges.

In this Intelligence Report: We've learned that the government witnesses may include one of the city's most controversial businessmen, the man known as "the Mayor of Little Italy."

He is Oscar D'Angelo, whose Chicago political influence began in the 1950s with Richard J. Daley, yielded him millions as a well-connected developer and rainmaker, and ended in a feud with Richard M. Daley almost 10 years ago. D'Angelo is the flamboyant, self-styled "mayor of Little Italy."

Now, at age 79, D'Angelo finds himself on the prosecution's list of potential witnesses in the city's next big mob trial.

Next month, in the trial of three Chicago hoodlums, D'Angelo may have to speak publicly from the witness stand in federal court.

Jerry Scalise, Art Rachel and Robert Pullia are charged with plotting to hold-up suburban banks and with scheming a break-in at the home of deceased South Side rackets boss Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra.

Scalise and Rachel are best known for stealing the famous 40-carat Marlborough diamond in 1980, a daring daylight robbery from a popular jewelry store in London, England. The men did long prison stretches in the UK and returned to Chicago, authorities say, to resume their careers as Outfit burglars.

While it is not clear why the government would want D'Angelo to testify against them, it would be an unusual and potentially uncomfortable position for him.

First, D'Angelo is a defrocked attorney himself, in 1989 having been disbarred for giving rental cars as gifts to city officials, judges and other politicians. In 2000 he then scarred his three-decade long relationship with the Daley family by loaning money interest to a top Daley official and working as an unregistered lobbyist.

Federal authorities aren't talking about why D'Angelo is on the witness list, although with a park along the Eisenhower Expressway named after him and with his historical perspective of Taylor Street where the gangland thugs operated, perhaps D'Angelo will merely be a foundation witness for the prosecution.

It is not unusual for the government to put people on the witness list who don't end up being called to testify just to cover their bases. But D'Angelo's name certainly attracts attention. And, there is another well-known name on the prosecutor's list, former Chicago police chief of detectives William Hanhardt, who is in prison for his own role in an Outfit jewel theft racket.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Did Jerry Scalise Target Oscar D'Angelo?


Mobbed-up thief Joseph Jerry “The Monk” Scalise allegedly targeted Daley mayoral pal and controversial lobbyist Oscar D’Angelo for a robbery and corresponded with imprisoned Chicago cop William Hanhardt, writing that “Oft times, defendants forget that they DID do the crime,” according to a federal court document filed Tuesday.

Scalise, who is in his early 70s, has a storied criminal career that most recently found him charged last year with two alleged accomplices with conspiring to knock off an armored car at a La Grange bank and rob the home of the late, brutal Chicago mob boss Angelo “The Hook” LaPietra.

The court document, filed by federal prosecutors, lays out the case against Scalise and two other senior citizens, Arthur “The Genius” Rachel and Robert Pullia. The men go to trial next month.

Scalise stole the 45-carat Marlborough diamond in London in 1980, was a reputed member of an Outfit crew of killers called “The Wild Bunch” and more recently was a consultant to famed Hollywood director Michael Mann on his film “Public Enemies.”

The court document is heavily redacted in parts and does not reveal any detail about the men allegedly conspiring to rob D’Angelo, but the criminal deed was never done. D’Angelo, who was involved in scandals in the Richard M. Daley administration, is expected to be called as a prosecution witness at trial against the three men.

The court document does quote at length a letter that Scalise allegedly sent to Hanhardt after Scalise was arrested last year. Federal prosecutor Amarjeet Bhachu contends in the government filing that Scalise admits his guilt in the letter.

Hanhardt, a former Chicago chief of detectives, was sentenced to nearly 12 years behind bars after pleading guilty in 2001 to running a sophisticated theft ring that stole more than $5 million in diamonds and gems from jewelry salesmen across the country. The FBI has contended that Hanhardt was on the take from the mob early in his police career.

“Since I am soon to be out of time (but with, maybe a lot of ‘time’) I am getting as much done . . . while I am out (on bond),” Scalise writes in one letter to Hanhardt, according to the court filing.

“I am finally going through everything with a fine tooth comb and conferring with Eddie G. on a plan of attack,” Scalise wrote, apparently referring to his legendary defense attorney, Edward Genson.

“Oft times, defendants forget that they DID do the crime. So, what do we do to mitigate the charges? The only approach I can see is to attempt to move the goal posts — to make something else the issue. My contention is that the ‘evidence’ is just not good enough. Yes, these culprits were up to something, but the ‘problem’ is in the technological evidence.”

Hanhardt is listed as a prosecution witness. Genson could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

Friday, January 14, 2011

Charges Increased to Racketeering on Reputed Elderly Mobsters

Federal prosecutors have upgraded charges against three elderly reputed mob associates who allegedly plotted last year to rob a bank and the home of a late Chicago mob boss.

Joseph “Jerry” Scalise, Arthur Rachel and Robert Pullia now face racketeering charges, which often carry stiffer sentences on conviction.

The men, all in their 70s, were arrested last April on charges they plotted to rob an armored truck company. The racketeering charges also allege the three targeted the family home of deceased Chicago mob head Angelo “the Hook’’ LaPietra for a home invasion.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jerry "The Monk" Scalise, Reputed Mob Jewel Thief, Freed from Custody

Convicted jewel thief Joseph "Jerry" Scalise was ordered released from custody following Tuesday's decision by Judge Harry Leinenweber denying the government's motion to revoke a pre-trial release order.

The 72-year-old Scalise has been in the Metropolitan Correctional Center since his arrest last April along with Arthur "The Genius" Rachel, 71, and Robert "Bobby" Pullia, 69, as they allegedly scouted banks to rob in the western suburbs. Federal authorities picked up the three as they were preparing to rob the Bridgeport mansion of deceased Chinatown Outfit boss Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra. They were arrested outside LaPietra's one time home with burglary tools, guns, ammo and communications equipment, according to federal agents. At the time of their arrest, there was speculation by mobologists 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 International Airport that evening, minus the diamond. Both men were convicted in the theft of the diamond, among $4 million in stolen gems, and served time in a British penitentiary.

Last month, in an effort to prevent Scalise's bond, prosecutors connected him to a Chicago mob hit squad known as The Wild Bunch based on testimony by an admitted mob assassin during the renowned Family Secrets trial. "In its attempt to connect Mr. Scalise to the 'Wild Bunch,' the government relies on the testimony of Nick Calabrese, a confessed murderer, and Frank Calabrese, a convicted murder, given during the 'Family Secrets' trial," wrote Scalise's attorney Edward Genson. "The testimony regarding Mr. Scalise's involvement in the "Wild Bunch" was based solely upon hearsay and was not substantiated by any independent evidence at trial, nor was it substantiated by any evidence on the record&. Furthermore, Mr. Scalise was never arrested or questioned regarding his participation in any of these alleged homicides either before or after the Family Secrets trial."

Scalise will be under house arrest while he's out on $500,000 bond, secured by property posted by his girlfriend, family and friends. His co-defendant's Arthur Rachel and Robert Pullia are currently out on bond.

Thanks to Ann Pistone, Barb Markoff and Chuck Goudie

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

Monday, August 09, 2010

Reputed Mob Burglar, Jerry "Witherhand" Scalise, Makes Bid for Pre-Trial Release

Chicago Outfit burglar Jerry "Witherhand" Scalise, who once grabbed a royal British diamond the size of an egg using his non-deformed hand, is making a new bid for bail in his latest legal escapade.

Attorney Edward Genson on Monday filed a motion in U.S. District Court asking that Scalise be granted pre-trial release because he has "secured additional property from his family and friends to post for bond." Genson noted in the motion that Scalise had been told by a federal judge during previous court hearings that bond would be possible if more property were posted.

Scalise, 73, is the suspected leader of a so-called "Geriatric Trio" of aging mobsters. His not-so-subtle mob nickname "Witherhand" is in recognition of having been born minus four fingers on his left hand. Arrested last April with Scalise were Robert "Bobby" Pullia, 69, and Arthur "The Genius" Rachel, 71 as they allegedly scouted banks to rob in the western suburbs.

Federal authorities picked up the three as they were preparing to rob the Bridgeport mansion of deceased Chinatown Outfit boss Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra. They were arrested outside the LaPietra home with burglary tools, guns, ammo and communications equipment, according to federal agents.

At the time, there was speculation by mobologists that Scalise and crew were going into LaPietra's former castle-like residence to retrieve the famous Marlborough diamond. The 45 carat sparkler was swiped in 1980 during a daring morning hold-up at Graff Jewelers in London, UK. Scalise and Rachel were arrested as they arrived at O'Hare Airport that evening− the 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.

When Scalise finally got out of the UK prison, he returned to Chicago and found work as a movie consultant. Most recently he was hired by director Michael Mann as a crime consultant in the Johnny Depp film, "Public Enemies." Mann told the LA Times he wanted to know what it was like inside a robber's psyche.

According to federal prosecutors Scalise knows all about how to rob-because he is still un-gainfully self-employed as one. According to the federal court motion which will be argued Tuesday, Scalise's family and friends agree to post as security for his release:


  • A Clarendon Hills Home, owned by Linda Pizza, Value $690,000, Equity $181,000
  • Land in Hawaii, owned by Thomas Seaman (brother-in-law), Market Value per Property Assessment $365,200, no mortgage
  • Monee Home, owned by Algiras A. Macevicius (friend), Appraised at $225,000, Equity $136,000


Ms. Pizza is Scalise "longtime companion" according to the motion filed by attorney Genson. The couple lived together in a Hinsdale apartment before she purchased the home in Clarendon Hills, according to law enforcement sources. Scalise promised in the motion that Ms. Pizza "was also willing to act as the designated person for Mr. Scalise should he be released." That may be determined during tomorrow's hearing.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

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