Trump's lawyer puts Philadelphia mobster 'Skinny Joey' Merlino at center of election conspiracy

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Stephen Rex Brown and Larry McShane, New York Daily News
·2 min read
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Reputed Philadelphia mob boss “Skinny Joey” Merlino wants no part of President Donald Trump’s desperate efforts to flip the results of his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

A lawyer for Trump retweeted a bizarre allegation that the Mafia veteran was ready to cooperate with authorities and reveal a $3 million scheme to forge ballots in Philadelphia for Biden — prompting an adamant denial Tuesday from the famously close-mouthed wiseguy.

“My client categorically denies all the allegations and Joey would rather die than ever be a snitch,” said attorney John Meringolo about the report asserting that Merlino helped manufacture 300,000 illegal ballots for Biden.

The story was first reported in The Buffalo Chronicle, which regularly publishes misinformation. That story was then retweeted Monday by attorney Jordan Sekulow, who is the son of one of Trump’s top lawyers, Jay Sekulow.

Merlino, 58, is currently serving supervised release in Florida after a 2018 plea deal. The son of South Philadelphia rose to head of the city’s crime family following a bloody mid-’90s internal war.

He has remained resolutely silent about the Mafia despite a pair of trials, and announced in a 2013 interview that he was out of the mob life and enjoying life in his Florida home.

Merlino memorably endorsed Trump’s loathing for snitches after he was sentenced to two years in prison for illegal gambling.

“President Trump was right,” he said with a chuckle in October 2018. “They need to outlaw the flippers.”

The conspiracy theory of election theft emerged over the weekend, insisting Merlino was paid $10 per ballot and worked nonstop with his team for 60 consecutive hours.

Meringolo said the conspiracy theory was “out of control” and he was fielding calls asking about its veracity.

Merlino declared “these people are crazy!” after reading the story, according to his lawyer.

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