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Jurors Claim Defendant Threatened Prosecutor During Mob Trial

CHICAGO - At least four jurors say a defendant in the city's biggest mob trial in years threatened a federal prosecutor during the case's closing arguments, published reports say.

Frank Calabrese Sr., a convicted loan shark and mafia hit man, allegedly told Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcus Fink, "You are an (expletive) dead man," according to a letter sent by lead prosecutor Mitchell Mars to Calabrese attorney Joseph Lopez, who denied hearing the threat to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The alleged threat raises the possibility of new trials, because if the jurors heard it then it could have affected deliberations. U.S. District Judge James Zagel could let the verdict stand if he reconvenes the jury and finds no evidence of tampering.

Calabrese was among five defendants convicted last month for his involvement in a mob conspiracy that included gambling, loan sharking and murder.

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