Reputed mobster Joseph Scalise and an associate were each sentenced today to 9 years in prison for plotting to rob an armored car and to break into the family home of a deceased Chicago Outfit boss.
Years ago Scalise pulled off one of the more memorable heists in Chicago mob lore, donning disguises to rob the egg-shaped Marlborough Diamond from a London jewelry story.
Scalise was in his 70s when he, Bobby Pullia and Arthur Rachel were arrested in 2010 all dressed in black in a van parked near the Bridgeport home of the late mob boss Angelo “the Hook” LaPietra’s family.
They had already drilled holes into windows leading into the basement and had been under surveillance by federal agents who had listened in on bugging devices as the trio cased banks and armored cars.
News reports that federal agents had found $750,000 in cash and stolen jewelry hidden in the home of imprisoned mob hit man Frank Calabrese Sr. inspired the crew to target the home, authorities have said.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber imposed the 9-year prison terms today on Scalise and Pullia. Both had pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges.
Rachel, who was convicted following a trial, was earlier sentenced to about 8 ½ years in prison.
He was also convicted with Scalise in the Marlborough Diamond theft. Both ended up serving 13-year sentences for that heist. The 45-carat diamond was never recovered.