Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 3, March 2013, Posted On: 2/12/2013
Philadelphia Video Poker Case Fails To Convict Lead Suspect
by Staff Reporter
TAGS: video poker, federal gambling case, video poker defendants, racketeering, illegal video poker, Philadelphia organized crime, Edwin Jacobs Jr.
PHILADELPHIA -- A federal jury here acquitted seven defendants or deadlocked on their verdicts in an organized crime case that involved some 60 counts of racketeering with illegal video poker, as well as loan-sharking charges.
The biggest fish got away. Jurors deadlocked on racketeering charges against alleged Philadelphia organized crime leader Joseph Ligambi. The jury cleared him of eight other counts, but three alleged lower-ranked mobsters were convicted of racketeering.
Federal investigators began building the case in 2000. The trial ran from October 2012 through December 2012.
Defense lawyer Edwin Jacobs Jr. said, "We're talking about video machines that aren't hurting anybody; the only problem is they weren't controlled by the state," according to local papers.
Prosecutors said they might retry the unresolved charges.