Barbara Thompson

September 6, 2000

(212) 335-9400


Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau and New York City Police

Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik announced today the indictment of 38

individuals and 11 companies on racketeering charges stemming from a three

year joint investigation into organized crime's involvement in the

construction industry in the City.


The indictment charges that the members of the criminal enterprise,

denominated "The Lucchese Construction Group," engaged in a number of labor

bribery, bid rigging, and other anticompetitive schemes that systematically

siphoned millions of dollars from both public and private construction

projects. To generate the criminal proceeds of these schemes, corrupt

contractors, who were required to use union labor and pay "prevailing wages,"

instead used non-union labor and did not pay prevailing wages. However, they

billed the public agencies and private developers as if they had complied

with the law. The difference between what was billed and the contractor's

actual labor cost financed bribes to corrupt union officials to allow the use

of non-union labor and payments to organized crime officials of a "mob tax"

of at least five percent of the contract's value to facilitate the schemes.


In addition to the "mob tax" imposed on them, the contractors were also

required to employ made members of the Lucchese crime family as "no show" or

"no work" employees. A "no show" job meant literally that the person being

paid was not present at the job site, while a "no work" job meant that the

person would be present at the site, but doing no construction work. The

purpose of these jobs was primarily to provide an ostensibly legitimate

source of income for the made member, but also to provide medical coverage

and pension benefits for these individuals.


Mr. Morgenthau said, "for generations, organized crime has had its tentacles

deeply embedded in the economic and social fabric of the City. Despite law

enforcement successes over the years, today's indictment demonstrates that

the fight against organized crime is far from over. The mob's influence in

the construction industry -- although not as pervasive as it once was --

still exacts a tremendous cost from the City. The "mob tax" outlined in

today's indictment adds to the already high cost of construction, making the

City a less attractive place to do business, and deters honest competitors

from entering the field. Although fighting the insidious influence of

organized crime is a continuous effort, today's indictment serves notice that

we are up to the challenge,"


Commissioner Kerik said, "The arrest of these individuals closes one of the

largest cases in the City's history and is another example of the Police

Department's commitment to dismantle organized crime. The conclusion of this

case will benefit the citizens of New York."




Mr. Morgenthau said that today's 57-count indictment involves eight

construction projects during the years from 1997 through 1999. Three of the

projects involve School Construction Authority ("SCA") jobs, including the

addition of modular classrooms at P.S. 33 and LS- 93 in Queens, and new

construction at I.S. 254 in the Bronx. The contracts for the work done at

these three locations totaled approximately S32 million.


Two others are also publicly financed projects, including roadwork

resurfacing at the Triborough Bridge for the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel

Authority, and roadway resurfacing and cable repair at the Queensborough

Bridge under the auspices of the New York City Department of Transportation.

The contracts implicated in the investigation totaled more than $1 million.


Three of the projects involved are privately financed, including the

renovation of the Park Central Hotel, located at 56th Street and Seventh

Avenue, the construction of the Doral Arrowwood Conference Center in

Ryebrook, New York, and the addition of five floors of apartments to the

existing building located at 354 Broadway in Manhattan. The contracts

implicated in the investigation totaled more than $6 million.


The indictment describes the three component parts of the Lucchese

Construction Group: the organized crime figures; the corrupt union officials;

and the participating contractors.


Luccbese Crime Family Members and Associates


Eleven of those charged in today's indictment are members or associates of

organized crime, including STEVEN L. CREA, the acting boss of the Lucchese

crime family, and two Lucchese captains, or "capos," DOMINIC TRUSCELLO and



Defendant CREA, as acting boss of the Lucchese family, directed the Lucchese

Construction Group and received proceeds from its activities. In addition, he

held an undisclosed ownership interest in a defendant company, KENT BUILDING

SYSTEMS, INC., a modular construction company. CREA needed to keep his

ownership interest secret in order to try to get KENT approved to conduct

business with the SCA. In addition, CREA required other contractors to

purchase modular units from KENT in order to do business in the New York area.


Lucchese capos TRUSCELLO and TANGORRA assisted CREA in the direction of the

Lucchese Construction Group. TRUSCELLO operated the "Prince Street Crew" of

the Lucchese crime family, while TANGORRA ran a Brooklyn based crew. Each

capo was assisted by a number of Lucchese soldiers and associates who

developed and exploited their relationships with union officials and

contractors for the benefit of the criminal enterprise. In addition, the

mobsters brokered the bribe payments and the "mob tax" payments and settled

disputes that arose over who would dominate a particular construction site.

In addition to receiving cash payments. TRUSCELLO was placed on






the payroll of a participating contractor so he could qualify for a pension

he was not entitled to from the Mason Tenders' District Council.


Also named in the indictment are Lucchese soldiers JOSEPH DATELLO, PHILIP


Lucchese associates ANDREW REYNOLDS, GIUSEPPE PALMIERI and his brother

ALESSANDRO PALMERI. They are each charged for their roles in bid rigging and

the collection of bribe money and "mob tax" proceeds relating to various job



Union Members of the Lucchese Construction Group


Eleven of the defendants are union officials who participated and benefited

from the criminal enterprise's affairs. Among those indicted today are

MICHAEL FORDE, the President of Local 608 of the United Brotherhood of

Carpenters and Joiners who is also the President of the District Council of

Carpenters for New York City and Vicinity. Also charged is Local 608 business

agent MARTIN DEVERAUX. Both are charged with receiving bribes in return for

allowing the use of non-union labor and other contract violations by

contractor members of the criminal enterprise.


Another carpenter union official, GERALD WOODS, the Executive

SecretaryTreasurer/Business Manager for the Northern New Jersey Regional

Council of the Carpenters and Joiners of America has also been indicted.

Woods received bribes from participating contractors for allowing contract

violations and for improperly signing International Agreements, which

permitted New Jersey contractors to work on job sites in the City without

having to sign contracts with Local 608,


Also charged is the President of Local 1 of the Builders and Allied Craftsmen

(the bricklayers union for the New York City area), SANTO LANZAFAME. He is

charged with appointing job stewards at sites knowing they would file false

union documents to cover-up violations by corrupt contractors in exchange for

bribes. Other Local I officials charged for their corrupt activities are





GIUSEPPE PALMERI, a shop steward from Laborers International Union Local 20

(Cement and Concrete Workers) is also charged for his role in rigging the bid

at the LS. 254 project and for falsifying union reports on that job.


Contractor Members of the Lucchese Construction Group


The remaining 16 defendants, and I I associated companies, have been charged

for their roles as contractors, employees or others involved in the criminal

enterprise's activities.






Defendant SAUL HEIFETZ operated a number of union mason companies, including

defendants DIBA CORP., and GRAND TRAIN CORP. Through his long association

with Lucchese family members, he was able to use non-union labor in violation

of contractual provisions. HEIFETZ paid defendant MIKOLAJ "NICK" PONIATOWSKI,

who ran defendant MIETEK MASON CONTRACTORS INC., for use of PONIATOWSKI's

large non-union work force on union and public projects. In addition, both

HEIFETZ and PONIATOWSKI falsified certified payroll reports to the SCA to

conceal their use of nonunion labor. HEIFETZ also paid the "mob tax" to CREA

and other members of the Lucchese crime family.


Defendant JAMES BONAGURA was an employee of Canron Construction Corp. He

assisted in rigging bids at I.S- 254, the Queensborough and Triborough Bridge

projects and received bribes for assisting in bid rigging by other members of

the criminal enterprise.


Defendant ADAM GALLINI was an estimator and project manager for defendant


BONAGURA and defendant BRAIN THOMPSON, a principal of defendant NEW YORK

BLACKTOP for contracts at I.S. 254. GALLINI also falsified Local 20 union

reports to conceal the use of non-union labor. Defendant KEVIN BARBER was a

MARMER Vice President who provided a "no work" job for Luccchese soldier

JOSEPH TRUNCALE at the I.S. 254 project and also falsified union reports.


Defendant DOMINIC DETORE, a principal of defendant CLEVELAND CONSTRUCTION

CO., engaged in bid rigging with BONAGURA and paid the "mob tax" on each of

the projects he obtained by participating in the Luchese Construction Group.



owners and officers of defendant COMMERCIAL BRICK INC., a union masonry

contractor. Because of their participation in the Lucchese Construction

Group, they were able to use non-union labor on their jobs in exchange for

payment of the "mob tax" on those jobs.


Defendant LAWRENCE WECKER was a principal in defendant LISA CONSTRUCTION

CORP. WECKER paid the "mob tax" in return for being allowed to work in New

York using non-union labor. WECKER and defendant KENNETH GORDON, an insurance

claims adjuster for the company that held a performance bond, rigged the bid

for a subcontract at the Doral Arrowwood project and, along with others

including CREA, thereby stole over $50,000 from AIG Insurance Company and its

affiliate, the Insurance Company of Pennsylvania.


Defendant JOSEPH MARTINELLI, the owner of defendant NORTH BERRY CORP., was a

contractor who paid the "snob tax" in return for the ability to violate

contract provisions on his jobs.






Defendants ANTHONY O'DONNELL and ANTHONY RUCERETO worked with Scan Richard,

an associate in TRUSCELLO's crew. Richard was a principal in S & S

Contractors Inc., a subcontractor that violated agreements with the

carpenters union by using non-union labor at the Park Central Hotel project.

Richard was the son-in-law of John Riggi, the boss of the DeCavalcante

Organized Crime Family in New Jersey that also operated in New York.


Defendant FINBAR O'NEILL was an officer of defendant TERRA FIRMA CONSTRUCTION


Lucchese crime family to coerce a contractor to remove a lien from a project

after money was stolen from the contractor. O'NEILL also paid the "mob tax"

and falsified business records to conceal it.


Defendants STEVEN CHAIT OSSERMAN and NICHOLAS RUSSO, the ostensible owners of

KENT BUILDING SYSTEMS, were in fact fronts for CREA. In order to conceal

CREA's ownership and control of KENT, OSSERMAN and RUSSO falsified business

records and filed false statements with the SCA.


All of the defendants are charged with Enterprise Corruption under New York's

Organized Crime Control Act ("OCCA"), which is a class B felony punishable by

up to 23 years in state prison. The defendants are also charged with various

other crimes including: Bribing a Labor Official; Bribe Receiving By a Labor

Official; Commercial Bribery in the First Degree; Commercial Bribe Receiving

in the First Degree; Falsification of Business Records in the First Degree;

Coercion in the First Degree; Grand Larceny in the Second Degree; and

Combination in Restraint of Trade under General Business Law sections 340 and



Assistant District Attorneys Michael Scotto and William Schaeffer presented

the case to the grand jury and will handle the prosecution under the

supervision of Assistant District Attorney Blake Coppotelli, Chief of the

District Attorney's Labor Racketeering Unit. Anthony Carro, Chief of the

Financial Crime Bureau and Investigative Analyst Jennifer Ferencko also

assisted in the investigation.


Mr. Morgenthau extended his thanks to Carl Bornstein, Inspector General of

the School Construction Authority as well as members of the NYPD, including

Captain Kevin McCarthy, C.O. of the Organized Crime Investigation Division

(OCID) and other OCID members including Captain Brian McCarthy, Sgt. Alfred

Lent, Det. Robert Callus and Lt. John O'Brien. The District Attorney also

thanked Katherine Flicker, Director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal

Justice and John Coughlin, the agency's Chief




Defendant Information is attached






STEVEN L. CREA---245 Scarsdale Road, Tuckahoe, New York. 7/18147

DOMINIC TRUSCELLO-21 Ashlyn Court, Wayne, New Jersey. 4/29/34

JOSEPH TANGORRA-1526 89th Street, Brooklyn, New York. 8/2/49

JOSEPH DATELLO--69 Timber Ridge Drive, Staten Island, New York. 5/16/51

PHILIP DESIMONE-1511 John Street, Fort Lee, New Jersey. 1/23/47

ANTHONY PEZZULLO-43 Bronx River Road, Yonkers, New York. 9/15/48,

JOSEPH TRUNCALE-90 Beekman Place, New York, New York. 1/15/31.

ARTHUR ZAMBARDI-Knollwood Drive, Middleton, New Jersey. 11/20/48.

SAUL HEIFETZ-3 Ullman Terrace, Monsey, New York. 8/21/35.

LAWRENCE WECKER-400 East 56th Street, New York, New York. 5/8/40.

KENNETH GORDON-1055 Federal Highway, Hollywood, Florida. 4/9/50.

JOSEPH MARTINELLI-30 Nicolosi Drive, Staten Island, New York. 4/12/36.

NICHOLAS RUSSO-68 Sargent Drive, Scarsdale, New York- 12/19/43.

STEVEN CHAIT OSSF-RMAN-240 Chestnut Hill Road, Stamford, Connecticut.


JOSEPH PEZZULLO-6104 No. Chelsea Cove, Hopewell Junction, New York. 12/17/54.

ANDREW REYNOLDS-83 Wolkoff Lane, Staten Island, New York. 7123/49.

ALESSANDRO PALMERI-18 Rose Street, Brooklyn, New York. 11/22/69.

GIUSEPPE PALMERI-2167 W. 74`" Street, Brooklyn, New York. 1/6/68.

MIKOLAJ PONIATOWSKI-122 Reservoir Avenue, Wallington, New Jersey. 1/1/45.

JAMES BONAGURA--2047 E. 69`" Street, Brooklyn, New York. 2/29/40.




ADAM GALLINI-79 West Madison Avenue, Durmont, New York. 2/22163.


KEVIN BARBER-16 Quail Court, Kinneron, New Jersey. 4/9/66.


BRIAN THOMPSON-98 Jewett Avenue, Staten Island, New York. 9/23/71.

DOMINICK DETOU-220 Avenue U, Brooklyn, New York. 3/18/61.

ANTHONY FRANTELLIZZI-20 Center Drive, Douglaston, New York. 7/13/62.

DOMINICK FRANTELLIZZI---135 Park Lane, Douglaston, New York. 1/30/64.

ANTHONY RUCERETO-93 Indian Spring Road, Budd Lake, New Jersey. 12/31/53.

ANTHONY O'DONNELL-131 Swaim Avenue, Staten Island, New York. 3128/70.

GERALD WOODS-119 Grove Street, Lodi, New Jersey. 5/2/44.

MICHAEL FORDE-39-39 50`" Street, Woodside, New York. 8/14/54.

MARTIN DEVEREAUX--410 Highland Street, Cresskill, New Jersey. 04/1/51.

SANTO LANZAFAME-8 Irvine Johnson Street, Northport, New York. 10/22/31.

JEREMIAH SULLIVAN, SR.-107-05 109" Street, Richmond Hill, New York. 1/14/32.

JOHN CUCCHIARELLA-3227 Glennon Place, Brox, New York. 8/5/38.

ANTHONY BARBAGALLO-689 Asbury Street, New Millford, New Jersey. 2/1/29.

HENRI LABARBERA-346 Doane Avenue, Staten Island, New York. 11/3/42.

THOMAS ZMICH-40-44 196`" Street, Flushing, New York. 7/5/64.

FINBAR O'NEILL-370 Golf Drive, Hackensack, New Jersey. 8/1!65.




GRAND TRAIN CORP. & DIBA CORP:--3 Ullman Terrace, Monsey, New York.

MIETEK MASON CONTRACTORS INC.-122 Reservoir Avenue, Wallington, New Jersey.

LISA CONSTRUCTION CORP -2366 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, New York.




COMMERCIAL BRICK INC -58-17 59'h Drive, Maspeth, New York.

MARMER BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION LLC.-1240 Liberty Avenue, Hillside, New Jersey.

NEW YORK BLACKTOP CORK-98 Jewett Avenue, Staten Island. New York.

CLEVELAND CONSTRUCTION CO.-1933 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, New York.

NORTH BERRY CORP.-8 Berry Street, Brooklyn, New York,


Street, Bronx, New York.

KENT BUILDING SYSTEMS INC.-560 No. Washington Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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Horacio Grana was a retired member of the Carpenters Local Union 1506 in Los Angeles.
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