New indictment coming for convicted jewel thief

August 24, 2010 1:49:05 PM PDT
US District Court Judge Harry Leinenweber will decide in three weeks if convicted Marlborough Diamond thief Joseph Jerry "Monk" Scalise will actually get out on bond while he awaits trial.

Last week, Magistrate Nan Nolan ruled to let Scalise out on bond despite the government's argument that he is a danger to the community and a flight risk. Judge Leinenweber will preside over the trial and has the final say.

During Tuesday morning's hearing, Scalise's attorney, Ed Genson, said he is waiting for the government to file a new indictment in the case. Genson said he would like to see the indictment "sooner rather than later" because a trial date has already been set for January 11th, 2011.

In court, Assistant US Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu said they are still waiting for additional information before filing. Genson joked he would try the case based on the current indictment. Bhachu said, "I think the indictment's pretty good."

The 72-year-old Scalise has been incarcerated since his arrest last April when federal agents interrupted his alleged plot to burglarize the home of late mob boss Angelo LaPietra.

Last week, Scalise's attorney fired back at prosecutors for connecting his client to infamous Chicago gangland murders of the late 1970s and '80s.

In a recent motion, the government linked Scalise to several Outfit murders that were the basis for the 2007 Family Secrets trial. Defense attorney Ed Genson said there is no evidence his client was a member of the notorious mob hit squad, "The Wild Bunch."

"In its attempt to connect Mr. Scalise to the 'Wild Bunch,' the government relies on the testimony of Nick Calabrese, a confessed murderer, and Frank Calabrese, a convicted murder, given during the 'Family Secrets' trial," wrote Genson. "The testimony regarding Mr. Scalise's involvement in the 'Wild Bunch' was based solely upon hearsay and was not substantiated by any independent evidence at trial, nor was it substantiated by any evidence on the record. Furthermore, Mr. Scalise was never arrested or questioned regarding his participation in any of these alleged homicides either before or after the Family Secrets trial."

Genson pointed out that the murders took place between the years 1976 to 1981.

"Mr. Scalise was in custody in England from 1980-1983 for the Graff Jewelry robbery," wrote Genson. That daring daylight hold-up of one of London's fanciest jewelers occurred on Sept. 11, 1980.

Magistrate Nolan called the government's attempt to link him to the Outfit hit squad The Wild Bunch "some kind of innuendo." Though Magistrate Nolan noted Scalise's rap sheet of 20 arrests and three convictions, she said she was "struck by" the fact that he never had a bond forfeiture and followed the court's rules each time he was released. Nolan was also impressed with Scalise's long time relationships to his girlfriend of 13 years and friends who put up property for his release.

As conditions of his bond, Scalise will be on home confinement 24/7 and can only leave if there is a medical emergency and to go to court. Genson must go to him. He cannot communicate with any member of the Outfit, with his co-defendants, with James Inendino, anyone in the LaPietra residence or anyone who works at one of the banks Scalise targeted to rob. He cannot have a gun in his home, cannot use a cell phone or email and had to agree to letting the feds put a tap on his phone if they were so inclined.

The government filed a motion to revoke Magistrate Nolan's order granting pre-trial release.

Scalise was charged in April along with Arthur "The Genius" Rachel, 71, and Robert "Bobby" Pullia, 69, as they allegedly scouted banks to rob in the western suburbs. Federal authorities picked up the three as they were preparing to rob the Bridgeport mansion of deceased Chinatown Outfit boss Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra. They were arrested outside LaPietra's one time home with burglary tools, guns, ammo and communications equipment, according to federal agents.

At the time of their arrest, there was speculation by mobologists that Scalise and crew were going into LaPietra's former castle-like residence to retrieve the famous Marlborough diamond-missing since 1980. The 45-carat diamond was stolen from Graff Jewelers in London, UK. Scalise and Rachel were arrested as they arrived at O'Hare International Airport that evening, minus the diamond.

Rachel and Pullia are both out on bond.


Load Comments