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Ligambi Acquitted Of One More Count in Philly Mob Retrial; Borgesi Ordered Freed

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A second trial, and another acquittal for the man alleged to be the boss of the Philadelphia mob.

Today, after weeks of off-and-on deliberations (see related story), a federal court jury acquitted Joseph Ligambi on one count and confirmed it was deadlocked on three others against him.

The jury also acquitted co-defendant George Borgesi of the only count against him.

Afterward, defense attorney Eddie Jacobs noted that the federal government has now presented its case to two juries, each time during months-long trials, and Ligambi has come through without a scratch.

"At the last trial, last year, we won five of nine counts," Jacobs told reporters outside the US District Courthouse in Philadelphia.  "Now we've won a sixth of nine counts.  Both times the jury was unable or unwilling to accept the government's theories on racketeering conspiracy and gambling."

Authorities alleged that Ligambi took control of the local mob after the racketeering conviction of  Joey Merlino, running the mob's gambling and loansharking operations.

Because he was acquitted of the only remaining charge against him, the judge ordered Borgesi to be immediately released.

After a lunch recess, the judge declared the jury deadlocked on the remaining counts and thanked them for their service.

It was not immediately clear whether the feds would try yet again to get a conviction on the remaining counts against Ligambi.

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