Philly Mob’s Borgesi & Gambino Family’s Bilotti Spotted Together In South Florida, Police Sources Say

Philadelphia mafia figure George (Georgie Boy) Borgesi attended a meeting in Florida in February with reputed Gambino crime-family representative Joe Bilotti, a New York wiseguy living in Boca Raton, according to sources in Palm Beach County law enforcement assigned to watch East Coast wiseguys either visiting or taking up full-time residence in the South Florida sun. Bilotti is related to slain Gambino underboss Tommy Bilotti, killed beside embattled Godfather Paul Castellano in the notorious December 16, 1985 mob assassination carried out in front of Sparks Steak House in Manhattan during rush hour which resulted in the Dapper Don himself, John Gotti, being crowned boss (see above).

The 53-year old Borgesi was in Florida to engage in a pair of sit downs, one with Bilotti and the other with boyhood pal and Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino, per sources. Merlino is a mobile mob don these days, splitting his time between Boca Raton where he runs a restaurant and South Philly where he keeps tabs on his alleged criminal empire through a series of buffers and conduits. Borgesi is a convicted felon, reputed murderer, and fellow 53-year old Merlino’s former consigliere, who has been off any form of parole restrictions for less than a year and “ripping and running” ever since stepping out of his federal-prison uniform in January 2014, when he and his uncle and alleged current acting boss of the Philly mafia, Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi, walked free from back-to-back hung juries spawning from a 2011 racketeering indictment. Per sources, Ligambi, 77, accompanied him on his recent trip to Florida and brokered both sit downs.

The sit down with Bilotti took place in a hotel suite, the sit down with Merlino, another in a string of powwows with the boss, at Merlino’s condo, according to sources in law enforcement. The week prior to his jaunt to Florida, Borgesi had a lunch meeting in New Jersey with Gambino crime family personnel, per these sources.

The always-magnetic Merlino and a crew of childhood-friend loyalists like Borgesi, fought and won a bloody street war for control of the mafia in the City of Brotherly Love back in the 1990s. Borgesi rose to become Skinny Joey’s No. 3 in charge. They were found guilty together in a highly-publicized 2001 RICO trial. Merlino did a dozen years in prison, Borgesi did 14. One FBI informant testified that Borgesi bragged of committing 11 mob murders. Although charged with multiple homicides in the 2001 RICO trial, him and Merlino were both acquitted of those specific counts in the case.

According to multiple sources, Borgesi is eager to reclaim his one-time standing in the Philadelphia mob, angling, politicking and networking his way through a segmented and seemingly-saturated local underworld and not worrying about appearances: seen glad-handing and meeting with Mafiosi from other cities and Families as well as different factions of his own syndicate. Multiple media outlets have been reporting for months that Borgesi heads one of four modern-day Philly mafia subgroups, with Merlino and 1980s Era Goodfellas Phil Narducci and Joseph (Joey Punge) Pungitore heading the other three. Ligambi and Narducci were “made” in the same 1986 ceremony.

Borgesi and Merlino haven’t seen eye-to-eye in a few years, but things are “getting better” claims one source. The ill will between the two stems from Borgesi’s feeling that Merlino allowed a raid on his rackets while they both served prison time from their RICO bust: co-defendant Marty Angelina went after his gambling and loansharking operations, another co-defendant and Merlino-confidant John (Johnny Chang) Ciancaglini, assumed command of mob activity in lucrative Delaware County, previously territory belonging to Borgesi.

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3 comments

  1. Sam

    Scott, you mean Tommy Bilotti’s brother Joe, right? Tommy’s kids aren’t involved.

    • Scott Burnstein

      I’ve gotten people telling me different things on Joe Bilotti’s relation to Tommmy, Florida fed told me son. Scott

  2. Sam

    I was told his sons aren’t involved and that they were never around wiseguys or the street, made it a point to stay away from the life and would be shocked if they all of a sudden are. Just what I was told.

    Try and dig deeper with that fed Scott! lol