And it's also a plea for some consideration from Judge Robert Kugler when he sentences Scarfo in October.The younger Scarfo never had a chance, said his cousin, mobster-turned-government witness Philip Leonetti.Mobsters like Merlino and George Borgesi, who was recently released from prison, have a reputation for demanding and grabbing.Some of the veteran wiseguys from Leonetti's era, guys like Phil Narducci for example, won't stand for those kind of guzzling or strong-arming tactics, he said. "They should just let everybody go about their business, everyone make their own money and be honest with one another." It's a life Leonetti remembers, but has no desire to relive."He didn't care that I had cooperated," Leonetti said of the younger Scarfo. The Halloween night shooting left him with seven bullet holes in his body, but he miraculously survived."He told me he knew it was Joey Merlino who shot him," Leonetti said.
It's not a defense of what he did, but rather an explanation for how he ended up where he did.
But that didn't stop Scarfo from being targeted in a different way.
Leonetti said members of the Philadelphia mob tried to shake Scarfo down after he opened a restaurant, Amici, in Ventnor back in 1996.
The money had been stashed in a hidden safe in Scarfo's apartment on Georgia Avenue in Atlantic City. "My life would be good too if I had a million dollars to rebuild it. " Leonetti rolls with the criticism, saying there are more important things to focus on.
He said he was fortunate to have the opportunity to change his life.