George D’Andrea and Joseph Famularo, Sr., both business agents for United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers Local 8 in N.Y., were indicted July 25 by Manhattan Dist. Atty. Robert Morgenthau for their alleged roles in a bribery ring. The two allegedly received over $200,000 in bribes in 1999. They were two of the thirteen people and six companies charged with participating in a racket that allowed the companies to reap large profits from government contracts by using nonunion workers.
Morgenthau said the alleged scheme was a criminal enterprise headed by Joseph Delancey, a nonunion roofing contractor who operated a number of different roofing companies. He routinely bribed Local 8 officials in exchange for labor peace. In return for bribes, the companies were able to place nonunion roofers on union projects awarded by a number of N.Y. agencies, including the School Construction Auth., N.Y. Dormitory Auth., Transit Authority and Port Auth. of N.Y. and N.J. The bribes allegedly totaled about ten percent of the cost of the project, which ranged in size from $50,000 to $500,000. The scheme ran from Oct. 1997 to Nov. 1999.
It “demonstrates the insidious nature of labor bribery schemes by which corrupt union officials line their own pockets at the expense of their hard-working members and the agencies who pay for these projects,” Morgenthau said.
Also charged was Famularo’s son, Joseph Famularo, Jr., who owned one of the roofing firms involved. Delancey, the Famularos, D’Andrea and four others were charged with enterprise corruption under N.Y.’s Organized Crime Control Act and face up to 25 years in prison each if convicted. Five others were charged with falsifying business records and scheming to defraud and could receive prison terms of up to four years each if convicted.
Investigators contend that Delancey and others generated phony payrolls, paid workers reduced wages in cash and laundered profits from the scheme through a company in Passaic, N.J., called Central Cleaners, which prosecutors say was in fact a licensed check-cashing store and money order distributor and not a dry cleaner. In 1999, the bogus cleaners reportedly laundered $1 million. As envelopes of cash were passed across the counters of Central Cleaners, reportedly more than two dozen investigators watched and wiretapped the transactions. [Newsday, N.Y. Times, Daily News 7/26/00]