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Admitted Philadelphia Mobster Takes Stand Against Former Colleagues

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A federal jury in Philadelphia today heard from an admitted mob insider who has detailed the illegal activities he claims he committed with, and on behalf of, the local mob.

Admitted mob associate Louis Monacello testified that he was a mob moneymaker and enforcer, running gambling and loansharking operations.  He says he collected "street tax" or "tribute" for defendant and alleged mob boss Joseph Ligambi and others.

Monacello, known as "big Lou" and "Bent-Finger Lou," also testified that he was ready and willing  to do violence for the mob.

And although he says he is no killer and never killed anybody, he has detailed incidents of threats and intimidation, and a baseball bat beating for the mob.

The defense, which will cross-examine Monacello later, contends that he and other cooperating witnesses are criminals and liars trying to help themselves by falsely accusing the defendants in this case.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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