Former Philly mobster "Skinny Joey" sentenced to 2 years in prison

Joe Merlino pleaded guilty in April to one count of running an illegal gambling business

Justin Udo
October 17, 2018 - 9:54 pm
A closeup of view of a jail cells iron bars casting shadows on the prison floor
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A former Philadelphia mob boss was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday for illegal gambling. 

Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino pleaded guilty in April to one count of running an illegal gambling business. 

Authorities say Merlino made an illegal bet on the Philadelphia 76ers chances in the playoffs. The bet sent him to court and led to him eventually pleading guilty to a gambling charge in April.

On Wednesday, in a New York city courtroom, Merlino was given the maximum sentence of two years in federal prison despite his lawyer's push for house arrest.

Merlino gained notoriety for controlling a Philadelphia-South Jersey organized crime family. 

In 2001, a jury acquitted Merlino and six co-defendants of three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He was convicted of lesser racketeering charges and served 12 years in prison before he was released in 2011.