Saturday, February 17, 2018

JURY WILL DELIBERATE AGAIN TUESDAY IN MERLINO TRIAL

The jury just isn't coming to any agreements in the charges against Joey Merlino. That's good news in multiple ways for Merlino, but we have to be specific here about the issue.  We don't know for 100% if the jury is deadlocked on all charges or just a few.  When Judge Sullivan was asked about that he said "we aren't at the point yet where I'm going to ask them if they are stalled on one or two or all four, but if we go another day without a verdict, I will then send in a note and ask specifics."  The answer seemed to suffice both the government(who looks defeated) and the defense.

I don't like to make guess work, however looking at this trial for everything it has been, I would have to say every single sign points to a hung jury.  You just have to sample what the jury has asked for to make a determination, all though it's not fool proof.  They wanted to know a clearer understanding of conspiracy, which I found to be a bit strange considering Judge Sullivan literally explained conspiracy for over two hours last week.  They also asked for tapes to be played, and they were the same tapes that attorney Edwin Jacobs told them to listen to.  So you have to believe they are giving it their best at this point.

The problem with the government's case has always been the testimony of John Rubeo.  John Rubeo by all accounts is a career criminal, a junkie, and just not believable in any sense of the word. When Judge Sullivan gave instructions to the jury he explained they didn't have to believe anything Rubeo said, but based on whether they believed him or not they "shouldn't make a decision based on that, but rather the evidence either proven or disproven by the government."  The problem with that statement is that the government  put all it's stock into Rubeo.  

I heard, and I won't confirm but I did hear there were tapes that were not allowed to be submitted into evidence where Rubeo says some pretty nasty and horrid things, which totally would have made the jury see who he really is, but for whatever the case the judge disallowed them, and it's a shame because as far as I am concerned if your going to allow the government to character assassinate Joey Merlino on some ridiculous moral compass then the same thing should be allowed versus Ruebo.  Call it stacking the deck or whatever you want, but it's the truth.  At the same time if we are going to use that bullshit moral compass, then why isn't the FBI on the hook?

Joey Merlino has a past.  Nobody is arguing that.  What I can say, from my own interactions, and from my own eyes and ears at this trial is that their just isn't enough to convict Merlino on anything. One can cherry pick and make assertions about tapes, but these aren't the tapes of the 1980's John Gotti where it's cut and clear about what he's saying.  Instead of being played like some sinister cloak and dagger meeting, it's comes off as two people talking about everyday things with no real factual compunction about them.

Not once, did I hear one tape or one bit from a transcript where Joey discusses any illegal stuff.  Not one text shown, shows Joey having any illegal conversations.  In fact, what it does show, and how it does play is Joey just trying to help some loser out of trouble.  I've said it a million times.  If you're gonna say someone did something, at the minimum gimme something to hang my hat on and say okay that's plausible.  Not in the case.  Nothing. I mean nothing.

The ONLY conspiracy in this case is between Rubeo, Parrello, Kriesberg, and the FBI, who allowed Rubeo 98 of 114 days to go untouched, unfollowed, unscathed.  He could tape what he wanted when he wanted.  He could delete at will, reset at will.  At what point do we as a society say that's acceptable?  These are your tax dollars going into overdrive.  They want Joey Merlino so badly, that they were willing to accept Rubeo, who repeatedly broke every agreement, for the sake of this multimillion dollar trial which hasn't produced anything?  They got what 46 defendants to plead out? They should take that and be satisfied with it, but the government never is, and they are vampires.  They will suck on the host till well after they have died.

On Tuesday the jury will be back at it, but it's my expectation that Tuesday will end the same way Wednesday, Thursday and Friday did.  Why?  Simple.  Joey didn't do anything wrong.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN MERLINO TRIAL. "TO TELL THE TRUTH DOESN'T TAKE PRACTICE!"

"To tell the truth doesn't take practice," is essentially what Edwin Jacobs, attorney for Joey Merlino stated to the jury just before the lunch hour in Manhattan federal court. It's one of several points Jacobs would hammer before I left today.

This morning the federal government opened up with a long and winding and incredibly dense and complicated case.  When I say complicated it really isn't, but the approach that the government took was to treat the jury as if they didn't understand words like "Cosa Nostra," which she had a hard time saying, and kept referring to it at LCN, which came off snarky and ill informed.  I have seen closing statements before but never one as inept or apparently ill prepared at the one the government brought this morning.

In a little over two hours, the government stated alleged fact after fact, however none of which have been proven thus far, nor did they have any substantiated evidence other than that of the words of John Rubeo and Wayne Kriesberg, which is laughable at best.  They over explained what the racketeering charges meant, what wire fraud and money fraud were for an endless amount of time.  They made Joey Merlino seem like the Carlos Marcello of 2018.  What really got lost in translation was they meandered on "cherry-picking," facts that they thought proved their case, when in fact the very audio tapes they did play lent itself to Merlino having nothing to do with any of this.

The government wants you to believe this was a mafia operation.  They want you to believe that Joey Merlino set this up, and took profits from it.  They want you to believe that Joey is the sole guy behind the curtain.  They want you to believe that Ruebo who lied all throughout his cooperation is somehow now telling the truth.  They want you to believe Rubeo when Kriesberg's testimony is very different than Rubeo's.   The government would close with a snarky "find him guilty line."  The governments whip-cracker really reminded me of someone pretending to be a prosecutor.  That's just my two cents.  It fell flat and was exhausting to listen to.  If they spent more time on logical facts, rather than explaining how crimes work, perhaps she might have had a bench to stand on.  You don't treat a jury like they are unintelligent, and you don't talk down to them as if they just don't understand.  She used the words "overwhelming" more times than my Aunt Susan going through menopause.

Right after the first break Edwin Jacobs began his closing statements.  Off the bat he had twelve points which he covered completely.  I'm not going to place them all here, but I'm going to drop the bombs in here.

1. Rubeo, for 98 of 114 days went unsupervised by the FBI

2. He was allowed to tape when he wanted, report when he wanted

3. He stole the $300,000 from CRIS, blamed it on Camacho, yet somehow managed to buy three luxury cars that month.

4. At no time was Merlino ever on tapes with Kriesberg, Camacho, Cirillo or anyone when they were in deep discussions about medical cream.

5. Rubeo beat his wife. He assaulted someone over money. He carried on an affair.  Lied to the FBI, his handlers, the prosecution.

6. He attempted to blackmail the FBI for more money.

7. Rubeo received at the minimum of $509,000 from the FBI. May be much more.

8. It was Patsy Parello who along with Rubeo set the medical cream up. Patsy had a guy down in Forida and it wasn't Merlino.

9. On tapes Rubeo said "I'm gonna milk this thing for whatever I can get and spoke with author George Anastasia numerous times."

10. Had hundreds of meetings with the FBI in 3-5 hour duration.

Those ten points alone, give me enough FACTS to say Joey is innocent.  If your going to say that Joey Merlino is the head of this scheme then why aren't there transcripts? Why aren't their wiretaps? Photos? Videos? Checks? Nope, nope, nope, nope.  Rubeo deleted and factory reset his phone to hide "porn," which was a huge lie.  We won't know what he deleted because he was able to do that under FBI supervision.

What about the FBI?  They left him unsupervised.  They didn't even alert the Florida FBI to let them know they had an informant working down there.  They allowed Rubeo to do as he wanted without filing out proper paperwork(which is why one FBI agent was suspended, and the other was vocally reprimanded).

To show you even how more inept they are.  They took a photo of Joey Merlino down in Florida and actually said "Joey Merlino, Captain in the Genovese Crime Family."  If you are going to allege organized crime affiliations, perhaps the FBI should know the names of these groups, considering the federal government kept naming them every ten seconds for effect.  Also, not once on these tapes does anyone mention that Joey Merlino is the boss of anything.  That's an assertion Rubeo made on his own opinion.  Keep in mind, Rubeo was owned by Parello, a Genovese Captain.

"How many hours does it take for anyone to get their story straight?" Jacobs asked.  I thought it was a great question.  One that seemed receptive to the jurors.  If you are telling the truth you don't need hundreds of hours to get it right.  You get asked you answer simple as that.  He followed that up with "It's like brainwashing.  You come in and you listen to the government talk and talk and talk, and eventually what isn't, actually is."   What he meant was, sit long enough in a room, realizing your gonna do thirty to forty years, and eventually you are going to math paths between things to make your situation better.  Rubeo doesn't want to go to jail, and he stated that from the very beginning.  Also by including all the things Rubeo did do while under FBI supervision points to the fact that Rubeo was always out for himself.  In fact, had Rubeo got caught selling drugs.  That's how this  began.  He got caught going against Parello's rules, then the FBI wanted him to effectively go after Merlino.  That's how it all began.  Rubeo never worked for Joey Merlino.  He never had anything other than a casual friendship with him.  Rubeo's real connection to "mob stuff," came through Patsy Parello.

I will say it like I've said it all week.  I just don't see how anyone can point the finger at Merlino here. Ask yourself this.  Let's pretend that it took a million people to get this done, for everyone to make money.  How come no doctor, no patient, no pharmacy were indicted or charged or testified?  Why is the government relying on Rubeo?  Think about it, they know how sketchy he is.  Why not bring a pharmacy in, or a doctor.  They didn't, they won't and they can't.  Why?  Because none of them can back up the claims by the government.  In order to convict you have to have "proof."  The only proof I've seen is that the federal government is more corrupt and lazy then I thought.  They are willing to sacrifice integrity and honor the sake of a bullshit conviction.  Don't believe me?  Look at the evidence for yourself.  Like Merlino or not, you have to admire one thing about him.  He's got moxy, and is a fighter, and I can certainly respect that and I hope for him, it's a win, as it should be.


*It is believed that the jury will get handed the case early tomorrow.




Wednesday, February 7, 2018

PINOCCHIO RUBEO GETS BURIED!!!

This morning while walking through the snow to Manhattan Federal Court, I found myself wondering when the hammer would fall right on top of mob rat John "JR" Rubeo.  So far in this trial I haven't been convinced that anything he's said has been truthful.  His track record is atrocious, and he couldn't seem to remember anything during this trial.  For a guy whose had a ton of hours with the prosecution to prepare for his testimony, he has seemed inept and full of shit.  There is not any other way to put it.

This morning opened with attorney Edwin Jacobs discussing the issues from yesterday which was the federal rule 608.  Judge Sullivan didn't really render any specific ruling but wanted the trial to begin again.  They escorted Rubeo in, and the jury followed behind.  My anticipation for today was to hear more about the gambling lunacy, and the medicare fraud(opioid cream.)

What I didn't realize was how this testimony today was a game changer.  Not to say Ruebo had a leg to stand on because he really didn't.  I knew he was a liar, but I was in for a shock at how completely inept he was.  I have never seen someone wilt and flip flop and just straight out get caught in lies as much as this pile of shit.

The main focus today was essentially on the medical cream.  Was Joey involved or not?  That seemed to be the major drilling points this morning.  The first thing worth noting, is that in court a video tape was played, and a few audio tapes were played.  One would have to assume out of the gate that if both audio and video tapes were played, you would actually have seen Merlino or heard him right? Joey certainly talked about medical cream and taking kickbacks right?  NO. NO. NO.  It's been Rubeo's assertion all along that it was Joey Merlino who was the man behind the curtain right?  Before I move on to more detailed things here are four points I want to really discuss.

1. How did Rubeo meet Joey? The FBI asked Rubeo to infiltrate Merlino because they wanted to indict him on something.

2. Rubeo stated under oath that Merlino took $50-100 dollars off the top per script that was written for the medical cream then an hour later said "Merlino never took any money from the scripts."

3. Prison Tape transcripts were read in which Rubeo said "I'm gonna milk this thing for all it's worth, I wanna see this cocksucker do 40 years,"

4. Rubeo claimed Merlino was at meetings where the medical cream scheme was discussed at length.

Let's begin with the money.  The first thing is this.  At one time this morning Rubeo stated that Joey was in fact "taking $50-100 off the top of each script written."  Rubeo continued with that line for about thirty minutes then once pressed said "Joey never took anything from the scripts."  He basically perjured himself in a little under half an hour.  Additionally, the only relationships that anyone had with doctors(4) which Rubeo could only name two for some reason, was with Rubeo, Wayne Kriesberg, Augie Camacho, and Anthony Cirillo.  In fact, transcripts showed that before Merlino ever entered this equation this was a Patsy Parello and John Rubeo scam.   Rubeo took brochures to Parello and even discussed with Parello the scheme, the medications and it was at Parello's suggestion that they grease the doctors.  Patsy even went so far as to tell Rubeo to "Stay away from Joey Merlino."

Augie Camacho was Rubeo's partner in the cream scam.  They had joint bank accounts together, where the checks from the commission from the medical cream would go.  Rubeo called himself a "co rep" for the medical company yet admitted under oath he never sold one ounce of cream, never was able to acquire a single doctor the entire time.  Rubeo claims Merlino took a cut of these said commissions or had his own "co rep" setup, yet Joey never ever received any checks from Rubeo or Kreisberg, nor could Rubeo explain who Merlino could have co-repped for.

Multiple times Rubeo met with Cirillo, Kreisberg, Brad Sirkin, and Camacho. Merlino was never at any of these meetings.  Rubeo made an effort to try and refer to Merlino, but the evidence suggests that the others were heavily involved and Merlino was a scapegoat for Rubeo.  I say that because Rubeo only got close to Joey as a result of the FBI asking him to.

The only meeting Joey Merlino attended was a meeting between Brad Sirkin, and John Rubeo.  Their may have been someone else there but I cannot remember right this second to be honest.  The issue was that Kriesberg was robbing or "beating" Camacho out of money.  Camacho wasn't getting the full amount of his commissions and was irate.  Rubeo also was infuriated because let's remember half that account was in his name as well.  Rubeo had been saying that it was Kriesberg who was fucking around and not being square.  Brad Sirkin refused to believe it because they were the owners of this medical company.  Kreisberg was Sirkin's partner. It was basically my word against your word.  Joey went to this meeting to help Rubeo out.  He was going to be a mediator.  That was all.   The meeting took place, words were exchanged almost to the point of a fist fight and Rubeo walked out enraged.  Rubeo would leave, go get gas and pick someone up from the airport then would come back to the restaurant and text Joey.

Joey met Rubeo outside(the conversation which Rubeo was recording) and essentially tried to reason with him. To calm him down.  The transcripts were cut and dry. "We have to act like men, we cannot argue.  Men don't fight, they talk."  Joey was acting as a mediator so that Rubeo could get down to the bottom of what exactly was going on and have a peaceful resolution.  Rubeo would later claim that Merlino was only invested because he wanted to be "in my pockets."  Which isn't accurate because there is ZERO evidence Joey ever took a time from him in regards to the cream.   What I took from this section of the testimony is that Rubeo is lying.  Completely lying.  Not even in the ballpark.  Not even in the same solar system.

At the midway point attorney Jacobs brought up the prison tapes of Rubeo.  Rubeo was caught on tape saying how he wanted to sell his story, wanted to write a book with George Anastasia, but then said that he was "gonna milk this thing for everything he could get, and he hoped that cocksucker got 40 years in prison," in reference to Joey Merlino.    Jacobs would then ask "You were spouting off, so is it safe to say you were angry at Joey?"   Rubeo responded "Yes, at the time I was yes."   Jacobs would ask as a follow up "What about now?"  Rubeo stammered "No. I mean No, I mean I don't have any feelings about Joey."  Jacobs backtracked and asked Rubeo why he was angry at Joey. His response made my brain explode, and my rage came in the form of what the fuck out of my mouth.

"I was mad at Joey because I would have to testify. I would have to sit here and do this." he explained.  You could have run me over with a truck.  This imbecile who became a cooperator, who put himself directly in this position, who directly lied to every single law enforcement person their is, violated every agreement he made, is seriously going to fucking blame his actions and anger on the idea that he would have to testify?  And that's Joey's fault?

What I was left with today before I left the courtroom was this.  I have never, in my life, seen this sort of circus act.  Sometimes bullshit can be plausible, depending on how you craft it.  This guy is the worst fabricator I have ever seen.  I was honestly looking for one single shred of fact where I could say to myself "okay I can see what Joey might have done."  but nope.  Nothing.  Nothing Rubeo had testified to is truthful, logical or entertaining.  Lie after lie after lie.   For instance if Joey Merlino has known Rubeo for three years prior, and is knee deep in medical fraud with Rubeo, then why does Rubeo have to explain to Merlino how any sort of idea works?  Wouldn't Joey know? Why would Rubeo need to bring that up to others?  It just doesn't make any sense.

What happened here was, Rubeo knew a guy who had a reputation for his past.  Not current.  He used Merlino's name to get inside groups and exploited a friendship for his own gains, and when he got caught with his nuts in the zipper he did what all dogs do.  He pushed his tail between his legs and ran for help.  He made a deal with the FBI who already had a hard on for Merlino.  Something about getting acquitted of trumped up charges , then actually doing time(but no amount of time is enough time for the government) really keeps them up at night.  They get a hard on for certain guys and are willing to dig up any sleazy, junkie, wife beater whose willing to point the finger at someone else and scream he did it, and 90% of the time "these facts," are tailored testimony and lies.

In final here, I could say a lot of things.  the main point I want to hit home is this.  If you say I robbed a bank, I better have cash on my table, or dye packs.  I say that because in this case it's all Rubeo's words, with ZERO to back it up, other than because "I just said so."  I said so isn't a fact, it's not evidence and evidence convicts.  In all of the bullshit Rubeo is spewing, all these and "we had this conversation, and he said that, and I saw this," none of it can be proven.  Not a wiretap, not an audio recording, not a transcript. Rubeo took the government down a rabbit trail of bullshit, innuendo and lies and now is drowning in his own deceit.  Rubeo is only Rubeo because of Joey Merlino.  Joey took a risk in being friends with an ass clown who only cared about himself, his greed and his position. He used Merlino's name to promote himself, to fuck over others, and now he's using his name to get a free get out of jail card.  I said it yesterday, the only crime committed is that Joey trusted and befriended and tried to help a guy who was in over his head and a deadbeat.  Instead of honoring that friendship with Joey, he shit all over him, and is trying to blame his own stupidity on Merlino, not giving a shit how if effects Joey, his wife, or daughters, and friends, and family.  It's a scumbag move, and one he needs to be held accountable for.  It was definitely
another win for Merlino today.



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

TRIAL PUT OFF BY SICK JUROR, BUT EVIDENCE ARGUMENTS EXCHANGED IN MERLINO TRIAL

This morning was expected to be more cross-examinations by Edwin Jacobs vs. John Rubeo.  As I arrived I was told there was a delay as one of the jurors was sick and delayed getting to the court house.

 As time ticked away eventually the juror was unable to make it to court and the Judge Sullivan offered both sides time to discuss whether to move on or to push back until tomorrow morning.

 It was agreed that they would push off until tomorrow morning at 9:30 however Judge Sullivan then asked if there was any business to handle, in an effort to keep the process moving along.

Edwin Jacobs, attorney for Joey Merlino wanted to discuss some evidence.  What began as a simple question carried on for over an hour with both sides explaining the reasons for and against the evidence being turned in.  This said evidence revolves around an audio tape of Joey Merlino and John Rubeo discussing a way to sway the bookmaking operation in their favor.  The issue was argued quite well by Jacobs and honestly put a lot of things about the gambling and bookmaking charges in perspective.  The point being, if this tape would prove that Rubeo lied, in an effort to get Joey arrested, or indicted, then it should be admissible under the law(we will get to that law in a minute) The governments stance was that a cross-examination of the transcripts would suffice, but Jacobs had a rebuttal.  The point for the defense was that Rubeo is a liar and could have simply crafted his testimony to fit the governments narrative.  If they have evidence to prove or suggest that Joey Merlino was on record as saying "That's illegal," and suggest that nobody should get involved in that mess, then the evidence could exonerate Merlino of the gambling and bookmaking charges.

The judge made several arguments for and against the request of Jacobs.  The judge stated that the tape wouldn't "prove or disprove the allegations made by Rubeo, and that Mr. Merlino is on trial and not Mr. Rubeo."   The judge felt that the defense just couldn't bring in new evidence every time Rubeo said something that alluded to Rubeo's propensity for lying.  "I don't want to have a sidebar every two minutes on this issue," he explained.  Perhaps in frustration or the point not getting totally across to the judge, it was very easy to understand from where I was sitting.  Cut and dry. If Rubeo is a liar, which he is, and if he has directly changed what he's said in any way, then any evidence to suggest the contrary should be admitted.  Considering Rubeo has lied prior, to the FBI, his handlers, judges and prosecutors then I agree it's in the best judgement of the court to allow Merlino and his defense team to hammer Rubeo where it counts.

You can argue morality and the character of anyone, but the point is that Rubeo as a character witness has been marred by offense after offense, and lie after lie, and inconsistency after inconsistency.  Anytime you are trying a case the character of the witness can be tried.  It happened to me, and it's happened to hundreds of others which brings us to Federal Rule 608.

(A) Reputation or Opinion Evidence.
A witnesses credibility may be attacked or supported by testimony about the witnesses reputation for having a character for truthfulness or untruthfulness, or by testimony in the form of an opinion about that character. But evidence of truthful character is admissible only after the witnesses character for truthfulness has been attacked. (in other words, if Rubeo is a pos, which he is, he can be attacked, as his character because he's been untruthful. The point of the argument is providing evidence to support that in the form of a rebuttal)

(B) Specific Instances of Conduct.
Except for criminal conviction under Rule 609, extrinsic evidence is not admissible to prove specific instances of a witness's conduct in order to attack or support the witnesses character for truthfulness. But the court may, on cross examination, allow them to be inquired into if they are probative of the character for truthfulness or untruthfulness of:(this is the part the government argued)

1.The witness; or
2. Another witness whose character the witness being cross-examined has testified about.

By testifying on another matter, a witness does not waive any privilege against self-incrimination for testimony that related only to the witnesses character for truthfulness.  The judge wasn't able to render a decision while I was there and was slated to reconvene at 3 pm to decide what the allowances would be or not be.

I am obviously not an attorney and I don't know all the parts to this argument, but it was logical and easily understood in the courtroom what Attorney Jacobs was getting across.  I stated it earlier but if we are going to make the assumption that Rubeo is giving factual evidence yet there is a tape which proves the opposite allegation then why not allow it into evidence?  I don't think Judge Sullivan was against the idea, but rather the point being he didn't want to sit through "22 minutes of an audio tape where there were different topics of conversation."  Makes sense.  I figure the allowance would be excerpts.  They also debated over which parts of the transcripts they want to vitalize.

Where does this leave us?  For the most part nothing has changed.  I spoke with a few beat reporters while I was there and they agreed with me that the defense won big time yesterday.  In these trials there is always a mountain of evidence and in most cases it's preemptive to make a conclusion based on one day of cross-examination, but I came to the conclusion that Joey Merlino is 100% absolutely NOT GULITY after that first day of cross.  Why?  It's simple.

I'm not foolish enough to live in some fantasy land where I believe everyone is innocent that has allegations levied against them.  Quite the contrary.  What I have always done, is let the evidence speak for itself, and I judge the testimony of those involved.  I have seen a lot of "mafia," trials and poured through a mountain of transcripts in my life, and I have never ever seen something so egregious as this case.  Again, I'm not a lawyer, and this is my opinion.  I could speak at length about how convoluted the evidence is, and lack thereof.  When someone is guilty I say so.  When someone is innocent I say so.  Say what you want about Joey Merlino, many have.  The one thing he's isn't in this case is guilty.   Obviously there is more to come in the trial, but I have never ever seen someone testify who was so jaded, full of shit, and egocentric.  The mere idea that John Rubeo had a notion that anybody would buy his life story, or make a movie about him is comedic at best.  He truly is a bottom feeder who got caught doing stupid shit, and is looking to cash in because he lacks the courage as a man to take a pinch and do time.  He would rather ruin the lives of many others than just subject himself to his due punishment.

To be credible one has to have credibility.  His claims are far fetched and absurd.  Rubeo has been an informant since 2012.  You can't honestly expect me to believe that for 5+ years this guy couldn't get enough to have anyone indicted.  It took five years, $509,000 dollars, for this guy to suddenly have enough information?  He admitted that he tried to blackmail the FBI for money by saying he was "getting book offers and movie offers for $50,000," which was a ploy to EXTORT money from the FBI.  It's laughable.  Yet this is the STAR WITNESS?  This is the guy who beat on his wife, and the FBI knew and did nothing?  This is the guy who was told not to have extra marital affairs, and he did it anyway. This is the guy who was told not to assault anyone, and he took it apon himself to slap someone around twice who "allegedly owed money to him?  All of these things broke his agreement and
status as an informant.  One FBI supervisor was fired over misconduct.  How much more nonsense needs to come out before someone begins to ask, hey what the fuck?

The truth is this.  Rubeo was a zero in that world.  He's another John Alite.  He used names around him to protect himself and make himself look better to those he wanted to impress. Looking at him in court like a shriveled yard gnome I find it hard to believe he could intimidate anyone.  He's the guy who wanted to play "gangster," and the second he stole money he pointed the finger at everyone else and ran for help because he was out of options.  That's the only thing Joey Merlino is guilty of.  He's guilty of trying to help out someone who he believed was his friend out of a jam.  Joey's past, whatever it may be, is simply that.  Just because one extends a hand of help to another doesn't make it a crime.  The only crime that's been committed in this entire indictment is those of John Rubeo, and like most witness who fabricate stories, times, dates, and relationships he's trying to get rewarded because he lacks the fortitude and manhood to just accept he got caught doing his own crimes.







Monday, February 5, 2018

RUBEO GETS HAMMERED IN COURT

I like many others was waiting for the cross examination of mob rat John Rubeo, and today offered that and then some. Today's testimony in the USA. vs. PARELLO trial(Merlino) John "JR" RUBEO was cross examined by Merlino's attorney Edwin Jacbobs.

Prior to the cross the Government finished up asking Rubeo about a few things.  Read close because this is going to be really important.  Under oath, Rubeo admitted to the following:


1. He admitted that he made $509,000 dollars from the FBI while an informant.
2. He admitted to assaulting someone who owed him money.(Against his agreement)
3. He admitted to lying consistently to the FBI, his handlers, and the Prosecution(AHA)
4. He admitted to beating his wife(against his agreement)
5/ He admitted to having an affair(against his agreement)
6/ He admitted to black mailing the FBI because he felt he wasn't get paid enough
7. He admitted that he totally wiped or "factory reset," his phone to hide evidence(AHA)
8. He admitted that he continuously committed crimes while under the watch of the FBI(AHA)
9. He admitted to selling drugs which he said was "against mob rules."
10. He admitted to breaking into a doctors home, stealing $30K in money orders(AHA)
11. He acknowledged that Joey Merlino "never committed a threat or act of violence.
12. He admitted that he broke the law, which is why he was remanded into custody(AHA)

*Keep in mind all these things took place while he was under the FBI's watch, and under his agreement which means he VIOLATED all the terms of his agreement.


Those points above are huge.  Not just huge because they prove what a garbage pail Rubeo is, but also show the court that he's at best, untruthful.   If he's going to lie about one thing, why not them all?  The majority of the facts today covered the Costa Rican Offshore Gambling(CRIS) business which Rubeo worked directly for and alleged Merlino was aware of and a part of.  For the record Rubeo became an informant in 2012.  He's been taping Merlino, Parello and anyone else for years.  The testimony today was concerning "CRIS."

CRIS is the Costa Rican offshore bookmaking business mentioned above.  Ruebo was collecting money owed to "CRIS", for the measly sum of $700.00 per week.  He admitted under oath that while he was supposed to kick up to Genovese Captain Patsy Parello, he refused.  He simply "lied," to Patsy about it.  Rubeo worked for Mickey, who was the owner of "CRIS."  He would collect sums ranging from $40,000 to $300,000 and more.  At one point Mickey sent a messenger to JFK with a suitcase of $300,000 which was meant to cover winnings via "CRIS."  Rubeo would end up collecting close to $400,000 after paying out the winners.  The problem is, the money went missing.   What compounded the issue is that "CRIS" believed that Rubeo had in fact stolen the money.  The reality is, he probably did.  Rubeo tried to place the blame on someone he knew for 30 plus years who was also involved in the bookmaking scheme.

To make matters worse, Parello was notified of the issue with the money.  Rubeo stated in court this morning he was an associate of the Genovese crime family and the Philadelphia mafia which was met with scoffs and sighs.  He said he was to directly report to Patsy Parello, but as long as Patsy was getting a taste of his money all was good.  "CRIS" was upset and sent feelers out to the Bonanno crime family down in Florida.  It created an atmosphere of anger and suspicion around Rubeo.

At some point Rubeo was fearing for his life, as he admitted today he felt he would be killed for the accusation of stealing $300,000. He reached out to Joey Merlino on the phone for help.  Patsy's stance was just pay them a bit here and there.  It didn't make Rubeo feel safe, which is how Joey Merlino enters the equation.

Rubeo called Merlino begging for help.  He and Joey had known each other for about three years prior and had some minor dealings together, however thus far it seems like a stretch as to how close they really were.  Merlino offered to help his friend get out of trouble.  Merlino called people and tried to get the bookmakers and "CRIS" to back off.  If not, Rubeo likely would have been killed. According to Rubeo, Merlino made calls and there was sit down over the issue, and Joey then told him that "it was handled."  The problem with that testimony which was torn apart was that Rubeo when questioned couldn't recollect what the content of the tapes were.  "Uhh, maybe, I don't recall. Perhaps,"   Merlino's attorney questioned Rubeo, saying "Joey was your friend. He came to your defense.  He helped you get out of a serious problem didn't he?"   Rubeo responded "yes."  Jacobs continued, "He didn't threaten anyone.  He didn't use violence.  He simply placed a call right?"  Rubeo frustrated replied "yes."

Jacobs would then question Rubeo as to why on these recorded calls if Joey was deeply rooted into the bookmaking business why every time he asked Joey about the situation Joey would tell him "look, offer to pay them something, or tell them your broke.  Pay something."   Joey at not time from the transcripts was tough or hard on Rubeo.  He just wanted the issue resolved and didn't want to be a part of a problem Rubeo brought on himself.

One of the other interesting tidbits was how Rubeo explained how he was "made," then just an "associate."  In some calls he claimed he was an associate, and yet told others in circles he was a made member of the Genovese's.  What got lost in translation a bit, is the disdain Rubeo has for Merlino.  Let's be honest here, Merlino protected Rubeo, got him out of a jam.  How does Rubeo repay him?  He rats.

At one point Jacbobs asked Rubeo to clarify what a rat is, what a rat does.  Without missing a beat Rubeo described himself to a tee.  "We tell on other people to get out of trouble.  To lessen our charges,"  Jacobs continued to jab a bit.  "So you're saying Merlino, never once used violence or made a threat right? You were the one surrounded by gangsters is that your testimony?  Rubeo furrowed his brow and said "Him, he's the gangster. "  Jacobs sighed and Rubeo clamored "Joey Merlino is the gangster."

One thing is really clear.  The government won't be able to stick charges of gambling and bookmaking on Joey.  It was obvious just from the transcripts and testimony that Joey didn't take profits from the gambling enterprise.  Transcripts proved that Joey Merlino had no idea what "CHRIS" was, and even Rubeo admitted that Merlino had no clue what it was until he explained it to him and begged for Joey to save his life.

 I have seen a lot of trials, but never one where the evidence just doesn't match what someone is accused of.  Granted their are many charges here, but there is no way the gambling/bookmaking charge sticks.  Joey if nothing else did the guy a favor in keeping him alive.  What proves that is direct testimony that a GPS unit was put on Rubeo's car by mob guys allegedly to track him.  It was universally accepted among all that either the mob or benefactors from "CHRIS" were going to kill him.  Displays of text messages sent to Rubeo also proved he was a dead man walking and in legitimate danger.

While the insurance fraud wasn't discussed much, one thing is worth noting.  If Merlino and company were getting kickbacks from this sort of thing, why wasn't the doctor who was prescribing the cream indicted to? There is a lot more to come with this trial for certain....

In final, my take is this.  Rubeo is a scumbag.  Not only was he the lowest on the totem pole, but this is a guy who directly said he was taking drugs and hallucinating while locked up.  He said he was much better after given Xanax, but he was also coming off an apparent addiction to drugs.  I found it very hard to believe his testimony, and I found it impossible to find any complicity on Merlino's behalf at least in the gambling portion of the indictment.  One thing I noticed was his venom for Merlino.  He seemed to have it out for him, and one has to ask why.  Joey did everything to help the guy and the guy just turned around and ratted everyone out to save his own ass from a jail cell.  If anything, Rubeo came off as someone admitting his wrongs, which could help the governments case, but then again when you go back up to the top and see the 12 things I put in, I don't see how he's likable or someone who can be trusted in telling the truth.  Once a liar always a liar.   As this moves forward it will be interesting to see how much further agitation Rubeo shows.  He was a tad cocky and arrogant for a shit heel wearing a blue prisoner jumpsuit. So far for Merlino though?  He's winning.






Sunday, February 4, 2018

MONDAY IS A HUGE DAY FOR MERLINO

Monday morning in Manhattan Federal Court is going to be a huge day for "Skinny" Joey Merlino. Monday begins the cross examination against John "JR" Rubeo. 

 Last week the jury heard a lot of evidence, mainly consisting of Rubeo's allegations that Joey Merlino was a part of a criminal conspiracy and more.  He tried to draw the line between Merlino, Parello, others and the medical fraud.  It included several audio tapes which included Merlino discussing "how easy it was to kill someone."  As well, there were photos from the Christmas time party in which the FBI funded.

In the photo you could see Merlino and others sitting around a table eating a $1,000 dollar a plate meal.  How this even happened what that the FBI wanted proof that those alleged were meeting to discuss mafia business, mainly the medical opioid cream.  The FBI gave Rubeo $30,000 to fund the dinner for the sole purpose of catching everyone involved.  There are problems however with Rubeo's testimony already.

For starters on the audio tape you can hear Joey Merlino strictly say when prompted about the medical cream say "I' ain't getting involved in that stuff."  It goes directly against what Rubeo has been saying all along.  To make matters worse perhaps for Rubeo is when asked why he chose to testify he came right out and said "because I don't want to do jail time."  That opens a can of worms in so many ways, I could sit here for the next twelve days and comment on that statement alone.

If one were to ask how Rubeo's testimony thus far has damaged Merlino, it's hard to say.  Joey outside of court was smiling and said "I think it's going good so far," when asked about the case thus far.  This is what makes Monday really important for Merlino.  His attorney Edwin Jacobs is going to hammer Rubeo on everything from those tapes being incomplete to his background.  It's like going to be the biggest part of this trial, and I will be there.
If I was going to make it easier to understand, and I made this reference on my radio show the other day(MOB TALK RADIO) but it's like the 7th game of the Stanley Cup finals, you are down a goal with 5 minutes to go, and you're double shifting your forwards to try and tie the game before time expires.  Then you'll take it into overtime and hopefully win.  It's going to be very important for Merlino's attorney's to knock holes in Rubeo on all fronts.  If they can simply show the jury that Rubeo has tailored his testimony at the behest of the FBI, who I might add has been highly suspect in this entire investigation then it's a win win for Merlino.  The problem is, sometimes juries look at an informant as giving what's called a "deathbed confession."  Simply meaning, the person giving the testimony is already in deep and will serve jail time, so why would he lie?  I know how this works personally and is one of the reasons I took a plea so many moons ago.

The FBI misconduct alone is something I expect to be a big highlight.  Jacobs will want to know why many of these tapes were deleted or amended, or in some cases edited.  They almost are fighting three fronts here.  They are fighting the FBI misconduct, the tailored testimony of someone about as reputable as a dead fish on the pavement, and assertions made by other rats who have tons of domestic violence issues.

For Merlino to roll the dice and say "fuck off," to a 46 month prison term, he has to be ready to roll his dice this coming week in Manhattan.  This is the biggest part of the government's case against Merlino and I expect some fireworks as far as conflicting information and assertions.  For Merlino the time is now.  If they cannot knock Rubeo back on his hind legs(cause he's a dog) it could mean big trouble for Merlino. 

We will keep you updated as this moves forward....

Monday, January 29, 2018

BRIGHTON BEACH'S MOST NOTORIOUS RUSSIAN BACK

You may never have heard this name before.  You may not even know that the Russian mafia's stronghold is Brighton Beach.  The man we are speaking about is Boris Nayfeld.  

Nayfeld, now 70 and fresh out of prison is a busted man.  Once rich, from heroin trafficking, extortion and murder, he is the so called "the guy you don't want to see entering your establishment." in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

Nayfeld arrived from Belarus in the early 70's when Russian Jews were fleeing to the United States due to religious persecution.  Just as soon as he arrived, he began a life of crime.  His nickname on the streets was BIBA, and has a long rap sheet which includes trafficking, fraud, extortion, and tobacco smuggling.

Back in 1986 Nayfeld was shot by an automatic weapon when gunmen burst into his office where he ran the gasoline tax skimming scheme.  You might remember him now as the guy Michael Franzese tried and failed to shake down.  In 1997 the US CUSTOMS named him the "organizer, enforcer and distributor of narcotics for the Russian mafia.  He was also the bodyguard for Marat Balagula.

Marat Balagula was the former Russian mafia boss and was also an associate of the Lucchese crime family. When former mobster Michael Franzese couldn't get his way with Nayfeld, he then attempted to shake down Balagula.  Balagula inturn went to Anthony Casso for help, along with Nayfeld.  The five mob families decided that it was better for everyone to make a profit then for one family to try and shake down the Russian mob.  Therefore they decided on a 2 cents per gallon tax on each gallon sold.  It made the mob millions, and was not the invention of Michael Franzese.

Casso was so endeared with Balagula that he joined business with him and opened a diamond mining company in Sierra Leone, Africa.   A few months later while Balagula was sitting in his office with Nayfeld, gunmen who were subservient to Vladimir Reznikov entered the office and lit the entire place up with Ak-47's in an effort to kill everyone.  It was essentially an effort in a hostile takeover.  While some were killed, and Nayfeld wounded, Balagula remained unscathed.  Later Reznikov would put a gun to Balagula's head and the stress wound up giving him a heart attack.  Casso who wouldn't deal with such an insult would go after Reznikov, and Casso would reach out to the Demeo crew for help.  Joey Testa and Anthony Senter would kill Reznikov in a parking lot that night.

Balagula would eventually go to prison for the gas tax scheme and credit card fraud and would be ultimately released from prison in 2004.   As fat as Nayfeld goes, at 70 he just wants to return to Russia and live out whatever time he has left, but his probation and parole stand in the way.  From a guy whose lived through some of the biggest mob moments, he's still alive and well and still in Brooklyn.  By all accounts Nayfeld was a tough guy, a fighter, shooter, and really feared guy in the neightborhood.  He's considering telling his life story, which might make for a good film, but at this point he just wants to return to Russia and I can't say I blame him.