BOCA RATON — Skinny Joey Merlino was arrested at his Boca Raton home this morning in a major federal crackdown that landed four dozen alleged mobsters in jail.
Merlino, who just put his Italian restaurant Merlino’s in Boca Raton on the market after he couldn’t get a liquor license, was once the Philadelphia mob boss.
And according to authorities, he still is.
He was busted alongside members of the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese and Bonanno crime families.
Merlino was called one of three leaders of those families.
Those leaders, according to a federal indictment “supervised and controlled” illegal gambling, the selling of untaxed cigarettes and handguns and and committed healthcare fraud.
Merlino is specifically accused of participating in three sports gambling businesses and bribing doctors to prescribe a prescription cream to patients, according to the indictment.
Merlino got out of prison in 2011 after serving 12 years for racketeering.
He was sent back to serve a few months after he was caught violating his parole by associating with a known Philadelphia mobster.