“The Mob is IBM”: Closing Arguments Start at “Uncle Joe” Ligambi Mob Trial

Closing arguments started Thursday in the racketeering trial of Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, the reputed head of the Philadelphia Mob. “The mob is to the criminal underworld what IBM and GE are to legitimate corporations,” said the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Han. “It has a simple and effective and enduring business model. It goes like this: work together to make money through force and intimidation.” Of course, the mob Ligambi is accused of heading is a relatively defanged version of its Cosa Nostra glory days—accused of shaking down small-time debtors and gamblers but committing no actual acts of violence. Given the stakes, wouldn’t that make the Philadelphia Mob more like the Dollar General of the criminal underworld? [Philadelphia Inquirer]