At least half the plan worked.
A reputed Lucchese crime-family soldier who allegedly plotted to slim down to escape through a Brooklyn jail window has dropped so much weight that a longtime crony failed to recognize him in federal court Friday.
Christopher Londonio — whose formerly 350-pound frame graced The Post’s “Veal Shank Redemption” front page Friday — was unidentifiable to Lucchese turncoat Joseph Foti in court in White Plains, Westchester County, despite the witness knowing the defendant for years.
Foti first said on the stand that he couldn’t point to Londonio in the courtroom because he didn’t see him. Then when Londonio’s lawyer, John Meringolo, said his client was there beside him at the table, a seemingly genuinely stunned Foti let out a surprised whistle.
“You lost a lot of weight,” Foti muttered to Londonio.
Meringolo later told The Post that his client lost about 200 pounds after his alleged escape attempt — because he was thrown into solitary confinement for 19 months over the doomed plot.
The lawyer said the “terrible conditions” in solitary contributed to his client’s drastic weight loss. He declined to elaborate.
The feds have said Londonio was plotting to escape Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center while awaiting trial by stockpiling dental floss and bedsheets to help break out — and planning to lose enough weight so he could shimmy out the eighth-floor window when he finally did and climb to the parking lot below.
The scheme also involved the help of his parents, his estranged wife, a bookie and a priest, according to a newly unsealed FBI report on the 2017 incident.
Jurors seated the case were grilled Friday over whether they saw The Post’s front page.
Both federal prosecutors as well as lawyers for the once-sizeable suspect and his cronies, Matthew Madonna, Terrence Caldwell and Steven Crea, agreed the jurors should be individually questioned on whether they saw the report.
No panelist said he or she had seen the front page.
Foti testified Friday that Londonio admitted to him that he drove a triggerman to the scene of the 2013 execution-style slaying of Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish.
Prosecutors claim that Madonna, the street boss at the time, ordered the hit after Meldish refused to pay back a $100,000 loan and told Madonna to “f–k off” when he called to collect.
The four men are on trial for racketeering conspiracy and other various charges, including Meldish’s murder.
This article was originally posted here