After a respite, the Philly Mob, Philadelphia’s faction of La Cosa Nostra, is reportedly making a comeback. With big names from back in the day back on the streets after jail bids, the Philly Mob is just about at the same strength that it was in the ’80’s when the infamous Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo was running the show. Nowadays, Mafia leaders claim to be completely legit in the real estate business, buying properties, renovating and flipping properties in Philadelphia’s thriving market. Though the mob doesn’t flaunt the status and influence it once had, members are not spilling blood left and right, like they were during Scarfo’s reign.
It has been reported by NY Times bestselling author George Anastasia on BigTrial.net that the Philly Mob has also “made” five new members. According to Gangster Report, the ceremony may have taken place in October around the 60th birthday party of Philly Mob powerhouse John “Johnny Chang” Ciancaglini and was followed by an extravagant dinner, attended by everybody who’s anybody in Philly’s mafia world.
Being “made” is what every wannabe mafioso is aiming for. It means that you are a full-fledged member of La Cosa Nostra and can enjoy all of the perks that come with that. Traditionally, to be “straightened out,” a member had to commit a murder. Today, bloodlines and being a good earner can get you “made.” According to various sources, initiates are brought into a room with other Made Men. They must take an oath of “Omerta,” meaning that they will keep the organization and its maneuvers a secret. Then, the initiate’s finger is cut and the flowing blood in trickled on a card featuring the image of a Catholic saint. The card is set on fire, then the initiate handles the burning card and says that if he breaks Omerta, his soul will burn like the card.
Due to alleged tensions within the syndicate, it is unclear whether the ceremony was overseen by Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligmabi or reputed don “Skinny” Joey Merlino, who spends a lot of time in Florida, running his own Italian restaurant. According to Gangster Report, “buttons” were handed out to loyalists of higher-ups George “Georgie Boy” Borgesi and Phil Narducci (who allegedly have beef with Merlino) as a conciliatory action. According to Philadephia’s FOX 29, the family is broken up into four factions, overseen by Merlino, Ligambi, Narducci and Joe “Joey Punge” Pungitore. Anastasia isn’t convinced of the rift, though. “Joey Merlino is very clever that way,” said Anastasia. “If I had to take a bet, I’d say Joey [Merlino is] still the guy in charge.”