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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Five guilty in Chicago mob trial
Front row: Frank Calabrese Sr, Joseph Lombardo, James Marcello;. Background right: Anthony Doyle, Paul Schiro
The men sat still as the verdicts were read out
A US jury has found four mobsters and an ex-policeman guilty of a criminal conspiracy that involved years of extortion and murder.

The verdict in a Chicago court came at the end of what was billed as the biggest organised crime trial in years.

The jury heard about 18 gangland murders, including two killings later depicted in the 1995 movie Casino.

Those convicted included Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, 78, the reputed boss of a gang called the Chicago Outfit.

Four of his associates were also found guilty of the conspiracy that covered murder, racketeering, bribery, illegal gambling and tax fraud charges.

They are alleged mob boss James Marcello, 65, Frank Calabrese Sr, 70, a convicted loan shark, and convicted jewel thief Paul "the Indian" Schiro, 70.

They could face life in prison.

Former Chicago police officer Anthony Doyle, 62, was found guilty of racketeering.

Scorsese film

Testimony during the 10-week trial came from several Mafia turncoats.

The star prosecution witness was Nicholas Calabrese, who admitted being a member of the Outfit.

He testified that his brother, Frank, specialised in strangling victims with a rope and then cutting their throats to ensure they were dead.

Frank Calabrese admitted associating with mobsters but denied being one himself.

His lawyer, Joseph Lopez, urged jurors not to trust Nicholas Calabrese.

"He would shoot you in the head over cold ravioli," Mr Lopez said, according to the Associated Press.

Among the murders detailed during the trial was that of gangster Anthony "The Ant" Spilotro, who, with his brother Michael, was beaten to death and buried in a cornfield in Indiana.

In the Martin Scorsese film, Casino, the Joe Pesci character was based on Spilotro and he and his brother met a similar end.

Al Capone

Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, who was arrested early last year, reportedly earned his nickname because of his love of wisecracks.

During the trial, he lived up to his reputation, AP reported.

Asked by a judge why he had not seen a doctor recently, he said: "I was supposed to see him nine months ago, but I was - what do they call it? - I was unavailable."

The Chicago gang - which was once run by notorious gangster Al Capone - ran gambling, pornography and extortionate lending operations during the 1970s and 80s.




SEE ALSO
'Mafia' trial starts in Chicago
19 Jun 07 |  Americas



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