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Jurors hear closings in Philadelphia crime boss trial

NEW YORK – A prosecutor says a reputed Philadelphia mob boss took advantage of the health insurance and gambling regulations, despite his claims that he had retired from a life of crime.

Assistant district Attorney of the V. S. Lauren Schorr made the allegations Tuesday in closing arguments at the New York City trial of Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino.

Lawyer Edwin Jacob countered by telling jurors that they were misled by the “tainted” turncoat gangsters who testified against Merlino.

The 55-year-old Merlino was among nearly four dozen suspects arrested in a 2016 against an East Coast crime syndicate. Prosecutors say the crimes, including extortion, loan sharking, sports gambling and insurance fraud.

The majority of the defendants pleaded guilty to reduced costs. Merlino is the only one, so far, to go to trial on the conspiracy.

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