Reputed mobster says feds gave defector ‘cheat sheet’ for trial

Reputed mobster says feds gave defector ‘cheat sheet’ for trial

January 22, 2019

A federal prosecutor handed a mob rat copies of government wiretaps to bolster the wiseguy’s $5 million lawsuit against the NYPD — and also serve as a “cheat sheet” when he testifies against a group of high-ranking gangsters, a blockbuster federal court filing claims.

Reputed Bonanno crime-family capo and consigliere John “Porky” Zancocchio says the racketeering indictment against him and eight co-defendants should be dismissed because of the remarkable favor Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Jason Swergold allegedly granted turncoat Bonanno ­captain Peter Lovaglio.

Zancocchio — whom The Post caught last year chowing down on a hot dog immediately after convincing a judge to let him out of jail because the food there was killing him — claims Swergold admitted in a Jan. 3 e-mail that he gave Lovaglio a disk with all the phone calls and texts between him and his former NYPD “handler,” Detective Joshua Vanderpool.

Lovaglio cited those recordings as part of a civil-rights suit against the NYPD and Vanderpool that was tossed out of court last year.

Zancocchio also alleges that Swergold gave Lovaglio other recordings that were “successfully used to impeach” Lovaglio when he testified last year at the trial of reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino.

Having the recordings will let Lovaglio “tailor his testimony” against Zancocchio and his co-defendants, and “critically annihilated any chance [they] had at a fair trial by providing the main cooperating witness with what is essentially his own ‘cheat sheet’ for cross examination,” defense lawyer John Meringolo wrote.

The allegations against Swergold mark the third time he’s been in hot water in the past year and a half.

In June 2017, a judge partially overturned a heroin dealer’s conviction because Swergold used two “misleading” charts during his closing argument. That ruling is being appealed by the feds.

Swergold was also one of several prosecutors who last May got scolded by another judge for failing to give the defense important evidence in the 2016 murder of a federal informant.

In a Monday night court filing, the feds called the allegations raised by Zancocchio “frivolous” and said the recordings were given to Lovaglio pursuant to US Justice Department regulations.

Prosecutors also accused the defense of mounting “a strategy to publicly tarnish the reputation of [Swergold]” and pointed to a June order in which the judge expressed “faith in [his] honesty and integrity.”

That order came after another defendant accused Swergold of misconduct in the murder case and his then-boss told the judge that Swergold “was not even a member of the case team” when the evidence wasn’t turned over.

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