Awaiting arraignment on rackeering, extortion and related charges, reputed mobster George Borgesi told a federal judge Friday that he couldn't afford a private attorney.
Borgesi, 47, was one of 13 people charged last month in a 50-count indictment. While serving jail time on unrelated charges, Borgesi was allegedly part of gambling and loan-sharking operations that sources say may have generated millions of dollars over the last decade.
At Friday's hearing, Borgesi, with dark, thinning hair, and wearing a pea-green prison jumpsuit, represented by attorney Joseph Marrone, asked the judge for a court-appointed attorney.
As Borgesi squinted over the financial affidavit, Judge Elizabeth Hey noted: "You look like someone who's missing their reading glasses." "Getting old," Borgesi replied. A few spectators chuckled. Hey granted the request, and scheduled the arraignment for June 15. - Kia Gregory