David Veltri may have been a bit player, but his role in a much larger 11-year scam to defraud the New York City District Council of Carpenters wasn’t about to go unnoticed. Federal authorities on June 15 announced that Veltri, a steward for the council, an affiliate of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, had pleaded guilty to accepting bribes totaling at least $8,000 from the owners of a contracting firm, Tri-Built Construction, Inc. He was one of several people who skimmed union benefit funds to pay nonunion workers off the books and to underreport hours worked by union employees.
Tri-Built had worked on Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. Its owners, Patrick McCaul and James McGonnell, during 1993-2004 paid nonunion workers secretly in cash, in violation of an existing contract with the Carpenters union, bribed stewards to omit worker hours from daily reports, and used the savings to undercut competitors bidding on other jobs. The scheme produced a total shortfall in union benefit plans of about $6.5 million. McCaul and McGonnell were indicted in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in January on one count each of conspiracy, embezzlement and bribery. (www.empirestatenews.net, 6/16/07).