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Prosecutors: Mobster returned to crime after prison stint

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2014 file photo, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino arrives at federal court in Philadelphia. The reputed Philadelphia mob boss known for beating murder raps and reinventing himself as a restaurateur is facing fraud charges in a federal trial in New York City. Opening statements are set for Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in Manhattan. (Yong Kim/Philadelphia Daily News via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A notorious mobster from Philadelphia nicknamed Skinny Joey is on trial in New York on charges he returned to his life of crime after his release from prison.

Jury selection was completed Monday in the federal fraud case against Joseph Merlino. Opening statements are expected on Tuesday.

The 55-year-old Merlino has pleaded not guilty to charges he was part of a health care scheme to bill insurers for unnecessary and excessive prescriptions.

Merlino was among nearly four dozen reputed members of an East Coast crime syndicate arrested in a 2016 sweep. Most have pleaded guilty.

Merlino has repeatedly beaten murder charges in past cases but served nearly 12 years in prison for racketeering before being released in 2011. He has claimed he retired from the mob for good.

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