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Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, reputed Philadelphia Mob boss

By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff writer

Growing up in South Philadelphia, Michael Francis Orlando Jr. dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps.

He wanted to join the mob.

Orlando’s dad was a bookmaker and loan shark. But the son set his sights higher. He sold pot and cocaine, robbed a drug dealer, staged fake accidents, and ran a credit-card fraud scheme.

Orlando hoped to impress the local mob leaders, but instead ended up in their debt, unable to make his $150 weekly interest payment.

One day he woke to find his car windshield smashed. On another, an enforcer paid his 85-year-old grandmother a friendly visit that Orlando interpreted as a threat. If he didn’t pay, Orlando knew, he would get beaten – or worse.

“That’s how things get done, through violence and intimidation,” he told a federal court jury Thursday.

Orlando, 45, was the second in a string of FBI informants and insiders expected to testify at the racketeering trial of reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Ligambi and six codefendants. Read the Rest  Here on