Defence lawyers say lead defendants in financial crime case aren't really in mob

CAMDEN, N.J. – Lawyers for the two lead defendants in a racketeering and financial fraud case say their clients are not mobsters but legitimate businessmen being wrongfully targeted by prosecutors.

Michael Riley says the government went after his client Nicodemo Scarfo Jr. because his father was a Philadelphia-southern New Jersey mob boss. He says it’s not a mob case at all.

And Troy Archie says his client Salvatore Pelullo was investigated because he was a successful businessman who “talked like a maniac” and was in business with Scarfo.

They gave their opening statements Wednesday in a trial for the two men and five others.

The government says the men used threats to take over a Texas-based mortgage company and then took $12 million from it over 10 months.

The trial is expected to last about three months.