The Law Offices of Benfante & DiBenedetto, PLLC


The Pizza Connection The Pizza Connection by Shana Alexander

"Benfante has an uncanny ability to get his clients acquitted of drug and murder charges in New York state criminal courts. As a result, he has one of the largest criminal-law practices in the city, and worked many organized crime cases before Pizza. Only weeks before the Pizza Connection trial began, he won acquittal for two New York Transit Authority workers caught in their room with a kilo of cocaine."

"You should see him in the spit and sawdust of the state courts! Joes up there with the best."

"Benfante cherishes the good life. He dines and vacations well. [...] Benfante treated himself to his red two-seater convertible after he won an acquittal for the district president of the New Jersey Teamsters, who was accused of robbing the union dental fund. Benfante loves to joke with the jury, and his most irate objection is often tinged with a last-minute smile toward the jury box. He was a college wrestler, and he moves and dresses like James Caan's portrait of Sonny in the movie The Godfather."

"Benfantes star has been on the rise since the Pizza case. In the fall of 1987 he won an acquittal in a murder case in which the killing was witnessed by a passing taxi driver, and the accused killer was caught with the murder weapon a half block from the body."

Last Days of the Sicilians - At War with the Mafia Last Days of the Sicilians - At War with the Mafia

"Perhaps the happiest of the defendants, after Vito Badalamenti, was the elfin Mazzurco, who, the jurors decided, had not supervised five others and so did not get convicted of the more serious counts of helping mastermind the conspiracy. " It was the only time," said grinning defense lawyer Joseph Benfante, "where I got hugged and kissed by a convicted client facing thirty years." Mazzurco could be eligible for parole, Benfante calculated, in a mere ten years."

The Helmsleys The Helmsleys, The Rise And Fall Of Harry & Leona

[...] Joe Benfante, summing up for Joe Licari, played the clown. "Poor Joe Licari," he said. "He's on trial for his life. Not for his own tax returns, not for his own money, not for Dunnellen Hall that he never even got to go to. His whole life is on trial because of a lousy mansion he never even saw. He doesn't even get to hear the music from Disney World. Give me a break. Give me a break. This is ridiculous."

What happened to Licari, he said, was he was just a good guy trying to do his job and getting caught in the middle, particularly because of Leona Helmsley's dislike. "Why did she hate Joe Licari?" he asked. "Because Joe Licari was Harry Helmsley's Jiminy Cricket, his conscience. He would tell Harry Helmsley, 'Mrs. Helmsley is spending your money again' and she went nuts. The queen did not want to go to the king and ask for an allowance. Money was no object. Leona wanted to get it done her way." [...]

The New York Magazine The Helmsley Case - New York Magazine

[...]Harry Helmsley will be represented by John Wing, a partner at Wiel, Gotshal, & Manges who was a federal prosecutor in the Southern District for 22 years. Leona Helmsley will be represented by Gerald Feffer, a partner in Williams & Connolly, the Washington D.C. law firm founded by the late Edward Bennett Williams. He was also a federal prosecutor in the Southern District and ran the Justice Department's tax division for three years during the Carter administration. The co-defendants are being represented by New York lawyer William Brodsky and Joseph Benfante, who defended one of the defendants in the Pizza-connection case.[...]

The New York Magazine When Good Kids Kill (New York Magazine, October 23, 1995)

"Lawyers Benfante and DiPietro must discredit teens they portrayed a week or two ago as the greatest of kids- easier in Tanicos case, since there were discrepancies in his confession; the defense also intends to portray him as the ringleader. "There are eyewitnesses who have Tanico hitting the deceased in the head with a pipe," says Benfante. He and DiPietro also hint at a self-defense argument."

The New Yorker Magazine The G-Man and the Hit Man - The New Yorker
December 16, 1996

Caden was not aware that Scarpa was an informant, and the attorney representing Scarpa at the hearing, Joseph Benfante, says he wasnt aware of it, either, "That would be tantamount to me thinking that Mother Theresa is assisting Saddam Hussein, because no F.B.I. informant goes out and engages in a Colombo warit's insanity," Benfante says.

"Benfante says that Scarpa had also begun to show signs of AIDS dementia. During visits he paid to Scarpa in prison, he recalls, "He told me to make a list he wants to give all the guards attach´┐Żcases, special cases of wine, and filet-mignon steaks. I told him, Greg, you can't have a steak in prison," "What do you mean!" He'd throw the chair. The next day, he'd be fine."

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