Pension Scam Leader Pleads Guilty

The highest-ranking Mafia member in the government’s “Mob on Wall Street” case pled guilty Feb. 15 to taking part in a massive scheme that allegedly cheated investors out of $50 million. Robert A. Lino, a reputed “capo” of the Bonanno crime family, topped the list of 120 defendants (some union bosses) charged last June.

Lino admitted to manipulating stocks through DMN Capital, a N.Y.C. firm that prosecutors have described as “fraud central.” He told U.S. Dist. Judge William H. Pauley III that he and others bribed brokers to tout stocks and sell them at artificially high prices. He also described a plan to defraud several union pension funds through a kickback scheme. It reportedly included three N.Y.-based funds: the Detectives’ Endowment Ass’n, Production Workers Local 400 and Int’l Union of Operating Engineers Local 137. Lino is scheduled to be sentenced June 1. [Newsday 02/16/01]