Federal authorities on Thursday indicted a purported Philadelphia mobster — who decades ago founded Philip’s Steaks cheesesteak shop on West Passyunk Avenue — and accused him and an associate of extorting and threatening the recipient of a loan.
Philip Narducci, who more recently has operated Chick’s, a bar and restaurant on Washington Avenue, and associate James Gallo face charges related to extortion and conspiracy, according to a 15-count indictment released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Gallo is accused of telling the loan recipient — identified in the indictment only as Victim A — to “stop playing games” after the recipient last fall had failed to make weekly interest payments on the loan. Prosecutors said the loan was funded by Narducci, whom they accused of belonging to Philadelphia’s La Cosa Nostra.
According to the indictment, Gallo then added: “You know when you’re gonna care? When [Narducci] shows up with a ... ski mask and you’re gonna say, ‘Oh No,’ and it’s too late.
“You’re gonna say, ‘Oh No’ and that’s gonna be the last thing you’re gonna ... say.”
Narducci is no stranger to serious allegations. A former member of Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo’s crew, he spent decades in federal prison after he was convicted in 1988 on racketeering charges. He also was convicted of participating in a notorious mob killing, the 1985 hit on bookmaker Frank “Frankie Flowers” D’Alfonso, but was later acquitted in that case.
Narducci was released from prison in 2012 for good behavior, and he opened Chick’s with his wife in 2017. Law enforcement agents Thursday morning raided the restaurant, which was named after Narducci’s father, Frank “Chickie” Narducci Sr., a purported mob captain killed in a hit in 1982.
Narducci also recently has been advising the new owner of Sidecar bar and grill at 22nd and Christian Streets.
The indictment accuses Narducci of lending $20,000 to the unnamed recipient in January 2018. In June, the indictment says, Narducci increased the amount to $115,000, and in October, when the victim failed to keep up with payments, Narducci allegedly threatened the victim and later threw the person against a car.
Days after that alleged assault, the indictment says, Narducci dispatched Gallo to collect money. Gallo allegedly told the victim that Narducci “is a killer, you ... idiot. He’s killed ... eight people," and two days later allegedly said: “I’m not saying that [Narducci] won’t come in and strangle you, but he’s not gonna kill you.”
Narducci and Gallo each made brief appearances in federal court Thursday but said little before they were temporarily taken into custody. Narducci did not yet have an attorney; Gallo was to be assigned a public defender.
The men are due back in court Tuesday for a hearing to determine if they will be allowed out on bail while awaiting trial. If convicted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, each could face up to 20 years in prison.