HERE ARE FOUR of A. Charles Peruto Jr.'s big (mob) hits:
1983: Defending Joseph Pedulla, one of two men convicted of shooting mobster Salvatore Testa - and a prime suspect in the murder of Angelo Bruno - Peruto says, "It's obvious that federal authorities are looking into the Bruno murder, but it's just as obvious that Joe Pedulla would have nothing to do with killing Angelo Bruno."
1984: Pedulla, a former enforcer for mobster Harry "The Hunchback" Riccobene, turns police informant and dismisses Peruto as his attorney in a mob-hit case, citing a conflict of interest because Peruto also represented Riccobene in a gun-possession case. Peruto wins that case.
1998: Peruto gets reputed mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino off the hook on a Longport, N.J., littering charge.
2008: New Jersey authorities drop conspiracy, gambling and money-laundering charges against Stephen Casasanto in a mob-linked bookmaking operation after Peruto sues the state Attorney General's Office, alleging that it had "failed to properly investigate whether or not the person that they tape-recorded" was "Stephen Casasanto or some other 'Stephen.' " Peruto says the prosecutor dropped the charges against reputed mob capo Michael "Mikey Lance" Lancellotti in the same case after discovering he had the "wrong Michael" on tape recordings.
NON-MOB NOTORIETY: Peruto defended notorious "House of Horrors" torturer/murderer Gary Heidnik in the late 1980s, attempting to save his life with an insanity plea even though Heidnik said he wanted to die. Heidnik eventually got his wish.
- Dan Geringer