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April 19, 2014

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Reputed Philly mob boss fends off conviction again

Updated Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 | 1:01 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A reputed Philadelphia mob boss has again fought off a conviction in his gambling and racketeering retrial.

A jury on Friday acquitted 74-year-old Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi of witness tampering, but deadlocked on three other charges. It's not clear if he'll be tried a third time.

The jury also acquitted Ligambi's nephew of racketeering conspiracy. George Borgesi is being released after 13 years in prison from an earlier mob case.

Government witnesses painted Ligambi as the head of a fading La Cosa Nostra crime family. Prosecutors have been pursuing him for years.

At the first trial last year, the jury acquitted Ligambi of five counts, while deadlocking on four. But his alleged underboss was convicted and sentenced to 15 years.

Defense lawyers call the case a witch hunt.