Ex-Stockbroker Who Helped Build Anti-Mob Cases Detained For Safety

A former stockbroker who helped prosecutors build cases about the mob's influence on Wall Street (search) and then aided an author writing a book about it was ordered held without bail Friday for his own safety.

A federal judge decided Louis Pasciuto should be detained after prosecutors argued that his incarceration was needed to protect his safety after his story was chronicled in the book Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street (search).

Prosecutors said they had no other option after Pasciuto rejected an offer to go into the Witness Protection Program.

In a letter to the judge, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Esseks said publicity surrounding the book "and the brash and bragging manner in which it portrays Pasciuto and his role in assisting law enforcement" made prosecutors fear for his safety.

Pasciuto is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 29 for his December 1999 guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud in a deal with the government. He faces up to 10 years in prison but will likely get much less since he cooperated with prosecutors.

Pasciuto's lawyer, Robert Baum, argued that his client should be permitted to await sentencing in a secret location of his choosing.

"I'm concerned that being incarcerated is not the safest place for him," Baum said. "There are at least 20 people incarcerated, and perhaps more, who are there because of Louis Pasciuto."