Ex-Long Island Boss Order to Pay for Clean-Up

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on June 14 affirmed a ruling that Robert Sacco, ex-boss of Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 282 in Lake Success, N.Y., who pled guilty to criminal racketeering charges, must pay a portion of the cost of the local’s monitorship imposed by the Dep’t of Justice. But the court remanded the case to determine the amount required of the ex-boss who headed the local from 1984 to 1992. The district court had ordered Sacco to pay 15% of the monitorship costs, or $136,000. But, the appellate court said that in setting the amount, the lower court “did not discuss the role of Sacco in comparison to other individuals who were responsible for corruption in Local 282.” The court left open whether the amount might be increased or decreased from the original sum.

In 1992, DOJ brought suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act against Sacco and Local 282 bosses, charging them with conspiring to conduct the affairs of the local through a pattern of racketeering activity. In 1994, Sacco pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, and was ordered to pay $58,800 in fines and costs. DOJ alleged Sacco was an associate of the Gambino crime family. Between the late 1970s and early 1990s, Sacco and other local  bosses allegedly used threats of physical, economic and financial harm, including work stoppages, against New York area construction companies and other employers with which the local had contracts, extorting payments from the companies.

In 1994, DOJ brought a separate civil RICO action against Local 282 and its officers, citing a 25-year history of “systematic infiltration, control and corruption” of the local by the members of the Gambino crime family. In 1995, DOJ, Local 282, and IBT entered into a consent agreement settling the charges. The agreement called for establishment of a monitorship of Local 282 to eliminate corruption within the local. The IBT, with the approval of DOJ and the district court, appointed a trustee and a “corruption officer” for the local.  The consent judgment provided that the expenses of the corruption officer, not to exceed $100,000 in the first year and $87,000 per year thereafter, were to be paid from settlement payments made by the Sacco and the other previously convicted officers. The funding was to be augmented periodically by payments from the local.

In 1997, DOJ sought a court order requiring Sacco to pay his share of the funding of the monitorship. The government said the monitorship up to that time had cost $681,000 and that an additional $225,000 in costs were expected before it was scheduled to end in 1999. DOJ had received $209,500 toward the funding of the monitorship from the other RICO defendants and it asked that Sacco be ordered to pay $400,000.  Sacco contested the order, arguing that RICO does not permit a civil defendant be required to fund a monitorship and that the remedy was punitive and thus barred by the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment. But the U.S. Dist. Court for the Eastern Dist. of N.Y. ordered Sacco to pay $136,000 for the monitorship. [BNA 6/26/00]