Genovese Family Charged with Control of Drywall Unions in NYC

Twenty-two members and associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family were charged with racketeering, extortion, fraud, tax evasion, and other offenses arising from the Genoveses’ alleged control over the drywall industry in the New York City area on April 20.  According to the 83-count Indictment, Louis Moscatiello, Sr., created Local 530 of the Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons union in 1978, specifically to enhance the Genovese Family’s control over the drywall industry and encroach upon the jurisdiction of another union operating in the drywall industry, Local 1974.  Moscatiello was the first President and Business Manager of Local 530.  During his tenure as President, the Indictment alleges that Moscatiello regularly accepted unlawful payments from contractors in exchange for labor peace.


According to the Indictment, after Moscatiello stepped down in 1991 as President of Local 530 following his conviction for bribing a union official, he continued to control Local 530 through a complicit union leadership.  For example, according to the Indictment, Moscatiello’s brother-in-law, John Campanella, Jr., was the plan manager for the Local 530 Benefit Funds. The Indictment alleges that in the mid-1990s, while Moscatiello was in prison, the Genovese Family’s control over Local 530 was exercised, in part, through Ralph Coppola, who disappeared in 1998.  After Moscatiello was released from prison, however, he allegedly reasserted his control over Local 530 through his handpicked leadership, including Carmine Mingoia, the current president, and Campanella. 


According to the Indictment, the Genovese Family exercised its influence in different ways depending on the labor union and the job site.  For example, in the case of the Kings County Hospital expansion in Brooklyn, the Genovese Family allegedly used a combination of complicit leadership and the extortion of a local of the Carpenters’ Union, Local 926, to allow James Delio, Fred Nisall and Joseph Delio to violate the terms of the CBA at that job site.  In the case of all of the projects involving Local 530, the complicit union leadership simply took orders from Moscatiello and Mingoia regarding the jobs on which collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) were to be enforced, it was charged.  The Indictment alleges, among other things, that the contractor-defendants were able to hire workers off-the-books, to employ non-union workers, not to pay workers higher union-scale wages, and not to make required contributions to the union benefit funds.  In exchange for this assistance, the contractors made payments, typically in the form of cash payments of a percentage of the value of the construction contract, to other members and associates of the Genovese Family, as explained in the Indictment.


The Indictment also charges that members and associates of the Genovese Family further participated in a bid-rigging scheme, whereby favored taping contractors, such as Thomas Bove, Frank Malangone and Fed Mendoza, and Local 530 officials, colluded in submitting bids for jobs from a particular drywall contractor.  The contractors who allegedly participated in the bid-rigging scheme agreed, in advance of the bidding for these jobs, (1) which job would be assigned to each of the participating contractors and (2) what dollar amount each of the contractors would bid for each job.  These contractors submitted their bids with the understanding that the Genovese Family would ensure that Local 530 would look the other way and not enforce the terms of the CBAs on their job sites, it was charged.  Thus, the contractors were able to violate the terms of the CBAs with impunity by, for example, using workers who were paid off the books, using non-union labor, and failing to pay union-scale wages or to make the required contributions to the union benefit funds, according to the Indictment.


From the various schemes, extortions, and tax fraud, the members and associates of the Genovese Family obtained millions of dollars in proceeds, it was charged. The Indictment, therefore, seeks the forfeiture of at least $5.2 million.  [U.S.A.O., S.D. NY, 4/20/04]