New York Brothers Admit to Mob and Union Payoffs

Guisseppe “Joseph” Scalamandre and his brother, Fortunato “Fred” Scalamandre pled guilty Nov. 14 to conspiring to make payoffs to the Luchese organized crime family and to the union boss of three locals in N.Y.C area. The two construction company owners were charged with conspiring between Jan. 1991 and Oct. 1998 to  pay members of the Luchese organized crime family, including the former acting boss, Alphonse D’Arco, and former underboss, Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, approximately $40,000 a year, in order to buy labor peace. They admitted agreeing to pay unidentified bosses and employees of Laborers’ Int’l Union of N. Am. Local 66, Blasters, Miners & Drill Runners Union Local 29, and Int’l Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 1 to avoid contributing to union benefit funds and paying union dues on behalf of their employees, and to unlawfully influence the bosses and employees in other union-related matters affecting their companies.

Dep’t of Labor Inspector Gen. Gordon S. Heddell said the case shows the government’s “commitment to detect and combat the ongoing control of unions, union benefit funds, and construction contractors by organized crime and other labor racketeers in the New York metropolitan area.”

The brothers also admitted to an approximately $1 million tax fraud scheme. They each face a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, 3 years supervised release, $500,000 in fines, restitution and the payment of back taxes for 1991-98. They must also forfeit to the government $5,000,000, representing proceeds of their criminal conspiracy to payoff union bosses and Luchese members. Further, they consented to a court-appointed monitor to supervise their construction-related companies for the next five years. The two are principals of several major construction companies on Long Island, including Sea Crest Construction Corp., Peter Scalamandre & Sons, Inc., and Scalco Construction Corp. The monitor will oversee the daily activities of their companies and ensure that the Scalamandre no longer associate with organized crime. Because of the pending indictment, one Scalamandre firm was recently halted from working at the World Trade Center massacre site, where its trucks were carting off debris. U.S. Dist. Judge Jacob Mishler (E.D.N.Y., Eisenhower) scheduled sentencing for Jan. 18, 2002.

The Scalamandres’ attorneys, Stanley Arkin and Charles Stillman, released a joint statement saying: “Faced with serious threats to their physical safety, the safety of their families, and the existence of their businesses, and in order to ensure labor peace, they ultimately agreed to make payments demanded by high-ranking members of an organized crime family. Although Joe and Fred recognized that their actions were unlawful…they dreaded having to make the payments and did so unwillingly .” The investigation is reportedly continuing. [USAO E.D.N.Y. 11/14/01, DOL-OIG 11/14/01; Newsday 11/15/01]