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Lawyers Say MDC Gave Wiseguy COVID; Ask Judge To Move Him To A Hospital


February 4, 2021

A Brooklyn Federal Judge will conduct a hearing this morning to decide whether to order the Metropolitan Detention Center to transfer a Colombo wiseguy to a hospital to treat him for the deadly COVID-19 virus that he contracted last week when jailers allegedly placed "a sick inmate" into his cell, Gang Land has learned.

Judge Brian Cogan ordered the session after lawyers for mobster Thomas (The Plumber) Scorcia charged in a Sunday night filing that he "had not received any medical treatment or medication" for the disease for four days at the federal lockup in Brooklyn even though he exhibited many coronavirus symptoms, including "fever, chills, and body aches."

The attorneys wrote that Scorcia had become sick and tested positive for COVID on Wednesday January 27, two days after an "infected inmate" was placed in his cell. They state that the MDC and prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes ignored numerous calls and emails from them demanding proper medical attention and information about their ailing client.

Scorcia, 54, has been at the MDC since his arrest on racketeering charges in October of 2019. As part of a global plea deal, The Plumber pleaded guilty in November to two loansharking counts. He also agreed to make restitution of $75,000 before he is sentenced on March 2, when he faces a recommended prison term of 37-to-46 months.

Noting that Scorcia has been confined "largely without access to daily showers, hot meals, lines of communication and essential medical care" for 16 months, attorneys VINCENT ROMANO and Anthony DiPietro have asked Judge Cogan to order the MDC to "provide immediate medical treatment" for The Plumber or transfer him to a hospital where he can receive it.

The MDC has been a hotbed of coronavirus cases for months. On Tuesday, the Bureau of Prisons database listed 241 inmates and 75 staffers as recovered, and another 43 inmates and 29 staffers still suffering from COVID-19.

In their filing, the attorneys wrote that their client objects to a request by the Probation Department for a "minimum seven-week adjournment" in his scheduled sentencing date so that probation officials can perpare "an offense narrative detailing the entire conspiracy" that allegedly begn in 2015 and continued until 2019.

"Due to the ongoing pandemic," the lawyers wrote, "the MDC has been in lockdown status since March 2020" and "Scorcia has not had a social or legal visit in approximately one year." The first time convict wants out of the MDC. He has been "largely confined to his cell between 21-24 hours per day during this entire timeframe," they wrote.

When Gang Land contacted attorney ROMANO about the filing on Tuesday, the lawyer stated that since Scorcia tested positive on January 27, "HE RECEIVED JUST ONE DOCE OF ACETAMINOPHEN THIS MONDAY AT 12:45 PM ACCORDING TO THE MEDICAL RECORDS I FANALLY RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM THE PROSECUTOR."

Yesterday, after speaking to Scorcia for the first time since he tested positive, ROMANO reported that things were even worse than the attorney had believed.

He learned from his client, and was going to tell Judge Cogan today, ROMANO said, that Scorcia became physically sick on Tuesday January 26, a day before he tested positive for COVID-19 and he "DID NOT RECEIVE THE BOTTLE OF PRESCRIPTION ACETAMINOPHEN UNTIL (THIS TUESDAY). IT WAS PRESCRIBED FOR HIM ON SATURDAY, BUT HE DIDN'T GET IT UNTIL YESTERDAY."

In a two page response that was filed last night after 9PM, Geddes confirmed that Scorcia had COVID and was prescribed Tylenol for his body aches, but stated that overall, his symptoms were "not severe," and his motion should be denied. She did not address the defendant's complaint that he contracted the deadly disease when an "infected inmate" was placed in his cell.

The prosecutor wrote she was unable to get any updated medical records, but hoped to get them in time for today's hearing. In addition, she wrote, there was no reason to "add additional burdens on the MDC" by requiring it to furnish "medical records on a daily basis" because Scorcia is now "in isolation" and the MDC "conducts daily checks of all inmates in isolation."

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