After Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino was sentenced to two years for a gambling conviction on Wednesday, the alleged Philadelphia mob boss said he agreed with President Donald Trump that “flippers” should be illegal.
> Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino pleaded guilty in April to a single count of running an illegal gambling business after a jury deadlocked on more serious racketeering charges.
> Judge Richard Sullivan said that after sitting through the trial, he had no reservations giving Merlino, the maximum sentence.
> “I certainly would have given you more than 24 (months), this is not a bad deal,” Sullivan said, crediting Merlino’s attorneys.
> Merlino’s attorney, Edwin Jacobs, had argued that Merlino was roped into an alleged racket involving pain cream by a gangland snitch, John (Junior) Rubeo.
On his way out of the courthouse, Merlino dropped his comment about flipping:
> “President Trump was right. They need to outlaw the flippers,” Merlino said with a chuckle.
After Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in federal court to campaign finance charges regarding hush money he paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election, Trump told Fox & Friends that flipping should be illegal — though whether Cohen was cooperating with prosecutors at the time was not known.