Councilman Is Given 10 Years for Mob Scheme
Former City Councilman Leland Beloff, convicted of conspiring with a reputed mob boss to extort $1 million from a waterfront developer, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison and fined $150,000.
“He committed the worst kind of breach of public trust. He sold his office and attempted to make City Council a branch of the local Mafia,” Chief U.S. Judge John Fullam said.
Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo, the reputed head of organized crime in the Philadelphia-South Jersey area, received a 14-year jail term and also was fined $150,000. Beloff’s chief legislative aide, Robert Rego, got an 8-year sentence and was ordered to make restitution of $2,500.
“Beloff dealt with the mob (and) undertook extortions with gusto,” U.S. Atty. Edward Dennis Jr. told the judge before sentencing. “Rego lied for Beloff and totally embraced Beloff’s philosophy of corrupt public service (and) Scarfo is a remorseless murderer, a gangster, who has dedicated his life to that and has utter contempt for lawful authority.”
Beloff, a former state legislator who resigned his Philadelphia City Council seat on Monday, faces trial later this year with his wife, Diane, on federal vote fraud charges.
The judge freed Beloff and Rego on bail, pending expected appeals for a new trial.
Scarfo, 59, will remain in the Philadelphia prison where he has been held for eight months. He is awaiting trials on three murder charges in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and another federal trial on charges of drug dealing.
The three defendants were found guilty of conspiring to force developer Willard Rouse III to pay them $1 million for legislation that would permit a $70-million project along the Delaware River.
Beloff, 45, and Rego, 43, also were found guilty of extorting $50,000 from another developer.