Genovese Allegedly Stole $1 Million from Union Funds

The Dep’t of Justice brought a 98-count indictment against 73 members and associates the Genovese crime family in N.Y. The charges include embezzlement, extortion, labor racketeering, loansharking, illegal gambling operations, selling counterfeit money, gun trafficking, credit card fraud, and attempted bank fraud, some of which led to conspiracy and racketeering counts. The crimes reportedly earned about $14 million this year. At least 60 defendants were arrested Dec. 5; some were already in custody. If convicted, some defendants would face as little as 5 years in prison while others would face hundreds of years; one could face up to 530 years.

Among those indicted are 3 alleged “capos” or captains, who are responsible for supervising the criminal activities of the members of their crews. They were identified as Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello, Joseph Dente, Jr., and Rosario “Ross” Gangi, who is already serving a 97-month sentence in federal prison for his role in a penny stock fraud.

Parrello is accused of embezzling more than $1 million from the benefit funds of Local 11 and Local 964 of the United Bhd. of Carpenters. Allegedly, Parrello and others stole the funds through S&F Carpentry, a unionized company based in Tuckahoe, N.Y., by reporting a fraction of the union carpenters they employed, using non-union labor and destroying payroll records. UBC members allegedly were threatened if they complained about the use of non-union workers.

“The Genovese family, the . . . most powerful and most secretive crime group, has been dealt yet another severe blow,” said Barry W. Mawn, asst. director of the FBI’s N.Y. field office. “It has been infiltrated in one of the most successful and significant undercover operations in law enforcement history.” Mawn singled out one undercover agent, that went by the name “Big Frankie” who had “risked his safety on almost a daily basis” over 27 months. He often met secretly with gangsters at Rigoletto’s Restaurant, owned by Parrello, in the Bronx. Big Frankie ate his way into the mobsters’ confidence posing as the owner of a N.J. haulier, who could slice up hot cars and make the parts disappear.

The latest charges are the second major assault this year on the Genovese family, the largest of N.Y.’s 5 crime families with an estimated 225 members. The Genoveses reportedly flourished as prosecutors focused on the high-profile exploits of the Gambino crime family, run by the flamboyant John “Dapper Don” Gotti. The Genovese clan was controlled by Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, an anti-Gotti who roamed the streets of Greenwich Village in his pajamas and a bathrobe in an apparent attempt to lay the groundwork for an insanity defense. Gigante was sentenced to 12 years in jail in 1997, but still allegedly runs the family from his cell. In Apr., prosecutors arrested 45 reputed gangsters, including 33 alleged Genovese members and associates, in raids in N.Y., Fla., and Nev. [Bloomberg News 12/5/01; A.P.,Wash. Post, N.Y. Times, Daily News (N.Y.), Times (London); Independent (London) 12/6/01]