It is little secret that much of New York City’s drywall industry is on the take, and that a number of contractors work closely with union bosses and the Mafia to maximize revenues. But one by one, elements in that network are being removed. On October 26, John Barone, a drywall contractor, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to one count of conspiracy to evade employment taxes. Barone and several other persons named in a massive Justice Department indictment, diverted wages, cash payments and other benefits to themselves without reporting them on W-2, 1099 or other IRS reporting documents. Bearing the burden of this unofficial “mob tax” are the taxpaying public and workers paid substandard wages. Barone had copped a plea to Count 77 in a superseding indictment.
Barone, 63, during the late 1990s had issued a contractor a pair of checks worth a combined roughly $23,000, one for his son’s college tuition and the other for payment of a credit card bill. Barone, the indictment said, evaded payment of employment taxes for this compensation and did not disclose the nature of the payments in his records. He was one of more than 20 persons indicted in April 2004 following a four-year probe by the FBI, the IRS, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and the New York City School Construction Authority. This past April, contractors James Delio, his brother Joseph Delio, and Fred Nisall, plus Genovese crime soldier Robert Carbone, pleaded guilty to extorting officers of Local 530 of the Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association. In the process, they defrauded the New York District Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners out of more than $1 million. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Criminal Docket for Case #: 1:04-cr-00343-LBS-16).