James "Pudgy" Fiorillo had more than one reason to turn on his former co-defendants in the Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis murder trial, defense lawyers said Wednesday.
Fiorillo, 36, testified for the second straight day, implicating Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello and Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari in the plot to kill the Miami Subs founder in early 2001. Moscatiello and Ferrari each face the death penalty if convicted of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and solicitation to commit murder.
Fiorillo was once a co-defendant, but after pleading guilty to the conspiracy charge in 2012, he no longer faces the death penalty. His plea deal requires him to cooperate with prosecutors during the trial. In exchange, he faces a sentence of six years, which he has already served. He is out of jail.
Defense lawyer David Bogenschutz, who represents Moscatiello, painted Fiorillo as an opportunist who considers himself innocent of all the charges but agreed to the deal to get out of jail.
"Did you ever plot or plan the death of Gus Boulis?" Bogenschutz asked.
"No," Fiorillo answered.
But Fiorillo did admit being outside Boulis' office in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 6, 2001, and reporting Boulis' movements to Ferrari. Fiorillo said he had no idea Boulis was about to be murdered and that he left the area before any shooting took place.
Christopher Grillo, the lawyer representing Ferrari, said Fiorillo had another reason to "betray" his longtime friend – sexual jealousy.
Fiorillo had testified on Tuesday that he first met Ferrari while working at a New Jersey McDonald's managed by Ferrari's wife. On Wednesday, Grillo asked numerous questions hinting that Fiorillo was interested in more than friendship with Ferrari's wife. Grillo's last question on the subject shifted from hinting to an open accusation.
"You don't think you were obsessed with Jessie [Ferrari]?" Grillo asked.
Fiorillo denied it.
The Ferraris have since divorced.
The trial will enter its 10th day Thursday with a mystery witness on the stand. Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes issued a written order granting prosecutors Brian Cavanagh and Gregg Rossman the right to call a witness who will use a pseudonym when he testifies. Media are barred from using the witness' real name or from capturing his image on camera.
Holmes' order does not specify why the unusual measure is being taken. Defense lawyers objected to the secrecy, but the judge overruled them.
The pseudonymous witness becomes the latest colorful character in a trial that has already featured one of South Florida's most prominent tycoons as victim, allegations of New York mob ties to the defendants, failed efforts to recruit a hit man, and a power struggle involving the fraudulent sale of a lucrative gambling boat operation.
Adam Kidan and Jack Abramoff, the investors who bought the SunCruz Casino boats from Boulis in 2000 for $147.5 million without putting up any of their own money, are both expected to testify during the trial.
Kidan has said he hired Moscatiello for protection after Boulis became violently angry over defaults on payments for SunCruz. Abramoff, at the time a prominent Washington D.C. lobbyist, was Kidan's business partner in the SunCruz purchase. Both partners served federal prison time for deceiving banks in order to get their loans approved.
Abramoff's fall from grace was the subject of the 2010 feature film "Casino Jack," which featured the murder of Boulis as a key subplot.
Prosecutors do not believe Kidan or Abramoff had anything to do with Boulis' murder.
Kidan will be called by prosecutors as early as this week, while Abramoff is on Moscatiello's witness list. Bogenschutz said he plans to have Abramoff testify via teleconference later this month.
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