A reputed mobster being held under house arrest while awaiting trial was filmed for a TV comedy cavorting with topless dancers, visiting posh restaurants and trying to break into a church, prosecutors charged.
Christopher Colombo, son of the late mobster Joe Colombo, has violated the spirit if not the letter of the rules governing his bail, Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin M. Lawsky wrote in a letter Thursday to U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald.
Colombo is awaiting trial on racketeering, extortion and loansharking charges, and the premiere later this month of his HBO show, "House Arrest." It debuts Nov. 24; HBO's Web site calls it "a docu-comedy based on reality."
Arguing that the show makes a mockery of the court rules, Lawsky is seeking to tighten bail conditions. Right now, Colombo is allowed to be out of his home from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
The judge relaxed his bail conditions at an August 2004 hearing so Colombo could attend to family matters, prosecutors said. Instead, Lawsky said in the letter, he "seems to have spent a large amount of his time filming his show."
Prosecutors have not seen the show but said a news release indicates that Colombo in one episode "visits a Reiki therapist, a strip club, a Bronx tailor, a church confessional, his favorite Chinese restaurant and a nightclub."
They said the release indicates he then races home to make his curfew and plays poker with his pals and "two women who just might add a private `happy ending' to his busy day."
The government letter quotes another press report as saying that an associate of Colombo during the episode tries to use a credit card to open the locked doors of a church and that Colombo says "this could be a violation of my bail restriction."
Colombo could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted at a trial next spring. Prosecutors argued he should not be permitted to film further episodes of the show because it could taint a jury pool. They are also asking the court to bar him from attending a screening of the first episode.
A lawyer for Colombo did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment Thursday.
Attorney Jeremy Schneider told the Daily News last week that his client knows FBI agents will be looking at the show to find missteps to nail him.
"He does know that he can't do anything to violate his parole. He knows that," Schneider said. "Is a strip club against the law? As far as I know, it's not."
Home Box Office Inc. did not immediately have a comment, a spokeswoman said.
Joe Colombo was gunned down during an Italian-American unity rally in 1971. He died in 1978 after lingering seven years in a semicoma.