GR Sources: Borgesi Gets Bump Up From Merlino As Boyhood Best Friends Get Back On Same Page In Philly Mafia

Relations have thawed significantly between Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino and his former consigliere George (Georgie Boy) Borgesi over the last several months. According to one source connected to both Merlino and Borgesi’s respective inner circles, Merlino recently re-upped Borgesi to a capo post. The pair dined together on the Jersey Shore last weekend, weeks removed from Merlino visiting Borgesi’s new South Philly clubhouse headquarters.

“The promotion was mostly ceremonial in nature because for all intents and purposes Georgie’s been pretty much at captain status since he got out (Borgesi was locked up from 2000-2014), but it was an important gesture, it’s the culmination of Joey’s plan to get Georgie in-line,” said the source. “This time last year, they were at each other’s throats. Joey’s played this whole thing well. There’s enough shit he’s got to deal with, he got sick of putting out fires in his own camp.”

Last week, Merlino was visiting his age-old Margate, New Jersey summer vacation stomping grounds. He’s reportedly gone now, vacationing out on the west coast. During his July trip to the Shore, Skinny Joey was seen tooling around in a new model, white-colored Rolls Royce.

Since Merlino’s release from a dozen-year prison stint in early 2011, he’s been residing in Florida. Experts claim he’s managing the mob in the City of Brotherly Love from afar, relying on a series of intermediaries to relay and enforce his orders. Rumors are currently circulating that Merlino might be considering returning to Philadelphia full time.

Merlino and Borgesi grew up together in the 1970s and 80s, then took over the Philly mafia together in the mid-1990s following a blood-soaked shooting war against rivals that lasted more than two years. Borgesi was first named a capo in the aftermath of the war and promoted to consigliere by Merlino in 1998. While the pair served relatively lengthy federal prison sentences in the 2000s and first portion of the 2010s, the now-54 year old wiseguys had a falling out allegedly over the fact that Borgesi had his street operations raided by another childhood chum Marty Angelina, a one-time Merlino underboss, without Merlino stepping into stop it, not to mention Borgesi’s responsibilities overseeing rackets in Delaware County being reassigned to Merlino’s current underboss John (Johnny Chang) Ciancaglini, all as Georgie Boy stewed behind bars – Angelina (L) & Borgesi (R) are pictured side-by-side in this article’s featured image.

Late last summer, per sources, Borgesi and Merlino had a series of sit downs in South Philly to resolve their issues, but didn’t get very far. Borgesi reportedly unsuccessfully lobbied Merlino for permission to have Angelina either killed or physically attacked for his attempted takeover of Borgesi’s rackets.

Tensions began easing last October with Merlino allegedly holding a making ceremony and inducting a new batch of button men loyal to Borgesi and possibly fellow faction leader Phil Narducci, traditionally not a fan of Merlino. Law enforcement sources tell Gangster Report that the FBI was on hand to watch a post-induction celebratory dinner attended by the initiates and a number of prominent Philadelphia mobsters.

Back in the winter, Borgesi visited Merlino in Florida on a trip he took with his uncle and crime family elder statesman, Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi, the syndicate’s acting boss for the second time in the past two decades. Sources say Merlino tapped Ligambi to come out of semi-retirement last summer as a means of stabilizing a Philly mafia that seemed to be a powder keg made up of multiple wings of the Family vying for power. Ligambi, 76, was originally acting boss on behalf of Skinny Joey from 1999-2011 and according to those at mob ground zero in South Philly, has tamped down the previously-rising acrimony.

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