September 21, 2019 — The FBI believes Philadelphia mobster Anthony Staino’s 2010 wedding doubled as an induction ceremony for new members of the Bruno-Scarfo crime family, part of a pattern by the organization in the past two decades of holding “making” rituals at public social gatherings, such as wedding nuptials, christenings and birthday and anniversary parties, per the most recent Mob Talk Sit Down episode on YouTube. The ceremonies are “pop-up style,” held in private rooms away from the other guests.

The 62-year old Staino just got released in the spring from doing a half-dozen years in federal prison for racketeering. Polished and business-minded, Staino climbed through the ranks of the Philly mafia in the 2000s, going from associate to soldier to capo to the storied syndicate’s “CFO” and No. 2 in charge. What exact position, if any, Staino holds today is unknown. He was indicted in 2011 and pleaded guilty in 2013.

Mob Talk Sit Down is hosted by legendary Philadelphia crime reporters Dave Schratwieser and George Anastasia. Nine years ago, Anastasia broke the news that the FBI had subpoenaed photos of Staino’s wedding held at The Atrium in the Curtis Center on the evening of September 11, 2010 and attended by the Philly mob’s then acting boss Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi and most of the Bruno-Scarfo clan. The feds think Ligambi held a makeshift making ceremony that night somewhere on the property. Staino was mentored in the mafia by Ligambi, who recently hung up his gangland spurs and retired.

Up until last month, Ligambi had helmed the mafia in Philadelphia on a day-to-day basis for the majority of the past 20 years on behalf of Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino. The sly, fashion conscious 57-year old Skinny Joey is set to be released from a short prison stay for a gambling offense next week. Merlino has lived in Florida since 2011 however returns to South Philly often to tend to his shop.

Schratwieser and Anastasia have been told that close to 20 buttons have been given out in the last 18 years. Gangster Report broke the news of a 2015 making ceremony conducted by Merlino and Ligambi in order to beef up then capo George (Georgie Boy) Borgesi’s crew. Borgesi, 55, allegedly has replaced the low key, highly-respected Ligambi as Merlino’s acting boss. Ligambi’s is Borgesi’s actual uncle, his mother’s brother.

Ligambi was made in 1986. Merlino got straightened out in 1992 and then in the wake of winning a shooting war for power in the crime family, inducted Borgesi and a group of loyalists that have long made up his inner circle.

Borgesi was Merlino’s consigliere before they both were busted for racketeering in 2000 and sent to prison. Sources claim Ligambi made Staino in the early 2000s. Ligambi and two of his subordinates (New Jersey crew boss Joe “Scoops” Licata and Licata’s protege “Big Lou” Fazzini) we’re caught on an FBI wire discussing a late 2000s induction ceremony while lunching with a wired-up New York gangster at an Italian restaurant in Jersey.

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