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Avenatti tweets "Reward increased to $131,000. Effective immediately."


1994: F.B.I. Arrests Reputed Leader of Philadelphia Mob and 23 Others

F.B.I. Arrests Reputed Leader of Philadelphia Mob and 23 Others

The indictment charged Mr. Scanfa's lawyer, Mr. Avena, with two counts of conspiracy and one count of obstruction of justice; if convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

Edwin J. Jacobs Jr., an Atlantic City lawyer who represents Mr. Avena, said in a telephone interview that his client pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing today. "My client is an attorney who represents a wide assortment of persons associated with organized crime, including Mr. Stanfa and others," Mr. Jacobs said. "He's now been charged with committing an assortment of serious crimes simply because he counseled his clients properly, as he should have."

But during secretly recorded meetings at Mr. Avena's office, prosecutors say, Mr. Avena participated in planning a murder and spoke about becoming a full member of the Stanfa organization some day. In one conversation last March, according to court papers, Mr. Avena asks if Mr. Stanfa is dissatisfied with his work, and then Mr. Avena adds, "If you want me to put my brains in the toilet, I'll put my brains in the toilet."

The Government, in court papers, concludes: "Avena is clearly not acting here as a lawyer, but demonstrating his total fealty to La Cosa Nostra."


Whither the Mob? 12 Defendants Plead Poverty and Ask Court for Lawyers

The defendants were charged with racketeering-related crimes, including murder, kidnapping, extortion and arson. Three have cooperated with the Government; one has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

The primary evidence in the case came from nearly 1,800 hours of conversations that Federal agents secretly recorded in Mr. Avena's law office in Camden, N.J. In 30 months of surveillance, prosecutors say, mob members spoke openly about their activities, apparently assuming that agents would be unable to secure court authorization to put listening devices in a lawyer's office.

Anticipating a challenge based on attorney-client privilege, prosecutors recently gave the defense attorneys 8,000 legal documents and transcripts of some of the recorded conversations supporting their investigation.


It's safe to presume the F.B.I. is better in 2018.

Sacramento protests live feed, #StephonClark

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