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Ex-Philly mob boss free after 4 months in prison for failing to report meeting with friend


PHILADELPHIA — A reputed former mob boss is free after serving four months in federal prison for failing to report a meeting with a former co-defendant at a Florida cigar bar.

A federal appeals court panel issued an order Thursday releasing Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino.

The 52-year-old reputed former head of Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra was in prison since January after prosecutors said his failure to report an encounter with Johnny Ciancaglini violated terms of his supervised release.

Merlino has been living in south Florida since 2011, when he left prison after more than a decade from a Philadelphia racketeering conviction. His lawyer maintains that Merlino plans to work as a maitre d' at a new Boca Raton restaurant that will bear his name.

Three judges considered Merlino's release. One dissented.

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