Another member of Philly La Cosa Nostra pleads guilty before big trial

With a major trial expected to start next week, another trusted member of Philadelphia’s La Cosa Nostra pleaded guilty Friday to participating in a racketeering conspiracy that involved illegal bookmaking and stealing employee benefits.

Louis Fazzini, 45, a “made” member of the North Jersey crew of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno. He admitted to running an illegal sports bookmaking business and receiving health benefits from a “no show” job that the group controlled.

Fazzini was among 14 people charged by federal authorities as part of La Cosa Nostra, including reputed mob boss Joseph Ligambi and underboss Joseph Massimino. The alleged crimes involve extortion, illegal gambling, loan sharking and witness tampering. Fazzini becomes the fourth member or associate to plead guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17.

Gaeton Lucibello, Martin Angelina and Louis Barretta were sentenced to 51 months, 57 months and 33 months, respectively, for their guilty pleas.

The trial for Ligambi, Massimino, Borgesi, Staino, Canalichio, Battaglini, and Licata is scheduled for Oct. 9, 2012. The trial for Verrecchia, Esposito and Ranieri has not yet been scheduled.

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