Federal investigators twice videotaped reputed mobster William D'Elia entering an auto parts business owned by Louis DeNaples, the Poconos casino developer, according to a sworn statement from 2001 in a federal gambling investigation.
On Thursday, DeNaples' younger brother Eugene, who works at DeNaples Auto Parts in Dunmore, Lackawanna County, appeared before a Dauphin County grand jury.
Eugene DeNaples, flanked by his attorney J. Alan Johnson of Pittsburgh, did not respond to requests for comment before exiting the Dauphin County courthouse.
He was one of at least three people who appeared before the grand jury -- which takes testimony in secret -- as it renewed its investigation into whether Louis DeNaples lied about his alleged ties to D'Elia to gain a slots license for his Mount Airy Casino and Resort.
Michael Schwoyer, the former deputy chief counsel for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement, the BIE, also appeared before the grand jury. Schwoyer was responsible for telling the board about the suitability of applicants for gaming licenses and the results of their background investigations.
Robert Graci, an attorney representing the gaming board in the investigation, declined to comment as he left the courthouse Thursday.
The appearances by Schwoyer and Eugene DeNaples were the first before the grand jury in three months. The state Supreme Court halted the investigation in October to consider motions filed by DeNaples' attorneys to quash the probe.
The lawyers had argued that Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico lacks the authority to prosecute. The high court unanimously ruled against DeNaples three weeks ago, allowing the grand jury to resume its work.
DeNaples, a wealthy Scranton businessman, was subpoenaed last summer and is expected to appear before the grand jury along with Anne Neeb, executive director of the state gaming board.
Marsico also subpoenaed all BIE documents relating to DeNaples' background check.
Court documents unsealed three weeks ago by the Supreme Court revealed that the grand jury is trying to determine whether BIE had information linking Louis DeNaples to D'Elia. Prosecutors claimed the investigation uncovered "substantial evidence demonstrating that DeNaples lied in his sworn testimony."
Marsico empaneled the grand jury in May after receiving a copy of secret transcripts of DeNaples' testimony before the gaming board last year, in which DeNaples denied any ties to D'Elia.
DeNaples, who opened Mount Airy Casino and Resort in October, could face perjury charges if the grand jury determines that he did have ties to D'Elia.
The state's slots law says the board "may" revoke or suspend a gaming license if someone is convicted of something that would have prevented him from getting the license. Short of any conviction the board -- again at its discretion -- may revoke or suspend the license of someone "determined to have violated" a provision of the law that would have prevented him from getting a license.