One-Time Philly Mob Associate Gets Mug On National TV For Right Reasons as RHONJ Checks In W/ Incarcerated Castmate

Affable former Philadelphia mafia associate, Angelo Lutz was on national television over the weekend, appearing on Sunday’s the Real Housewives of New Jersey special, Theresa Checks In, on the Bravo Network. The episode was the second of a three-part series filling the audience in on how cast member and reality tv-superstar Theresa Giudice is adapting to life behind bars as she serves out the remainder of her year-long prison sentence for a fraud conviction. Well-respected Atlantic City-based criminal attorney James Leonard appears in all three episodes.

Leonard, 41, represents Giudice, who pled guilty to over 40 counts of fraud in 2014, related to her and her husband, Joe, (a fellow RHONJ cast mate) clearing five million dollars in a decades-worth of bank fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud scams. Joe Guidice pled guilty as well and will do a three-and-a-half year stint in prison starting in early 2016. During Sunday night’s episode, Leonard and Joe Guidice palled around with the notoriously-gregarious and rotund Lutz in Little Italy. The footage was shot back in the summer.

For the last five-plus years, Lutz, affectionately known as “Fat Ange,” has been the proprietor of the popular Kitchen Consigliere restaurant, located in Collingswood, New Jersey. Sunday wasn’t his first time on national television either – he’s appeared on the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and the QVC shopping network, too.

Theresa Giudice, the 43-year old tabloid diva, is the biggest star of the enormous Real Housewives franchise and is currently cooling her heels in a federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut. She has penned three New York Times Best-Selling cooking and lifestyle books and is in the midst of working on a prison memoir.

Lutz (pictured in this article’s feature image) opened his Kitchen Consigliere eatery in 2010, two years removed from finishing up dealing with his own problems with the federal government. In 2001, Lutz, 53, was convicted alongside most of the leadership of the Philadelphia mafia, a young, hip mob contingent Lutz grew up with and was on the fringes of in terms of organized crime activity, in a giant racketeering and gambling case and did more than a half-dozen years in the clink as punishment.

The headlining defendant in Lutz’s 2001 RICO conspiracy case was Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino, the country’s camera friendliest and most swaggering and charismatic modern-day mafia don and someone square in the government’s sights once again, reportedly the focus of another RICO investigation for his affairs since leaving prison in the spring of 2011, per multiple sources in law enforcement. Lutz is no longer involved in a criminal capacity with his boyhood buddies in the Merlino crew, these sources claim.

James Leonard (right)

James Leonard (right)

Leonard has represented Philly mob figures such as Anthony Nicodemo, Nicky Scarfo, Jr. (now a Lucchese crime family member out of NYC) and Eddie Wagner in the past and was referenced in the 2012 book Mafia Prince, the autobiography of former Philadelphia mafia underboss Philip (Crazy Phil) Leonetti. He has a reputation as one of the top young criminal defense attorneys on the east coast.

Nicodemo is a former bodyguard and driver for Merlino, who pled guilty to murder charges back in the winter. Wagner and his brother Ray, are both alleged bookies and close friends with Skinny Joey, while Scarfo, Jr. is a heated Merlino rival, surviving a gun-load of bullets pumped into him on Halloween 1989 in an attack Merlino has long been the No. 1 suspect. Leonetti turned against the crime family once led by his uncle and surrogate dad, the utterly maniacal and lethal Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo – Scarfo, Jr’s father -, almost 30 years ago and is in the Federal Witness Protection Program living in an undisclosed location under a different identity.

 

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