Boss Pleads Guilty to $237,000 Kickback Scheme

According U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern’s statement, ex-Nat. Maritime Union Employee Pension & Welfare Plan boss Nicholas LaForgia pled guilty May 26 to receiving $237,000 in kickbacks — including airline tickets, electronic equipment, jewelry and liquor — in exchange for referring members to the Northeast Maritime Inst. in New Bedford Mass. for training mandated by the U.S. Coast Guard. LaForgia was responsible for where and when members receive training. According the statement, LaForgia contacted the school and arranged for NMU members to attend classes in 1996. LaForgia then demanded the school purchase items for him. In Nov. 1998, the school said it would stop purchasing the items, he then cancelled previously scheduled classes and ceased sending members to the school. He faces three years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and a restitution order.