Monday, June 12, 2017
DESPITE GOSSIP, MERLINO STANDS PAT AGAINST FEDS
If you have been following the ongoing saga between the FBI and "Skinny" Joey Merlino, one thing is very clear at this point. Joey Merlino refuses to admit, refuses to plead, and absolutely laughs at the idea of accepting a sentence over crimes he and some forty others are accused of.
For many, the idea of taking a slap on the wrist for charges that could well have brought Merlino and others a twenty year sentences, probably would have been the better option, but there are a few reasons Merlino is standing up to fight rather than accept a plea.
For starters, the FBI has a problem with these wiretaps made by John Rubeo, which had no oversight, and questions are being asked about how the FBI handled not only Rubeo but the tapes themselves. The sheer fact that the FBI is willing to make offers to 40 some members or associates of the mob tells you that they fear that the case itself is a sinking ship. The second point here, is that Joey is one of 8 whom have refused to accept any deal from the Government. Now, we could see Joey ultimately accept a deal in the end, which many lawyers I have spoken to agree on, but Joey is in the position to dictate here, not the FBI.
The other reason why Joey doesn't want to accept a deal is out of the fear that the gambling and medical fraud charges could be forwarded to both New Jersey and Florida, where some of these alleged activities took place. He's not about to accept a plea then subsequently get charged for the same crime in two other states, only to get higher sentences for each in other jurisdictions.
Joey is playing his cards correctly. For the record Joey has NEVER accepted a plea deal, however in this case if the Government offers a deal between 12-16 months, and forces the issue with Florida and New Jersey not to file an indictment, then you might see Joey actually take a plea deal for the first time in his life, but let's remember, it hinges on the idea that there is NO FBI misconduct, zero issues with those tapes, and so many other questionable tactics. It's a bit of a dice roll here, but Joey has more control over this situation than you might suspect. Time will tell, but so far so good for Merlino.