Many major construction projects in New York City face an unwritten law: If you want the work completed, pay the mob tax. Those who collect are the Mafia, and unions and contractors friendly to it. Those who pay are the general public and the workers who receive substandard wages and benefits. But tax relief may be on the way. On Monday, April 10, three mob-linked drywall contractors and a Genovese crime family soldier admitted in federal court in Manhattan to taking part in a scheme involving a pair of labor unions.
Contractors James Delio, his brother Joseph Delio, and Fred Nisall copped mail fraud, embezzlement and extortion pleas, while Genovese made man Robert Carbone pleaded guilty to extorting officers of Local 530 of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association. With the help of the Genoveses, the Delios and Nisall hired nonunion labor off the books, in the process defrauding the New York District Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of more than $1 million. The overall take may have been higher; James Delio and Nisall each agreed to forfeit $1.5 million.
Construction or expansion projects affected by the scam were Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, Public School 83 in the Bronx, and an apartment building in Manhattan. The four guilty pleas are part of a larger effort by prosecutors to crack down on organized crime in the local construction industry. In 2004, 22 persons were arrested following a four-year joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS, a state agency, and a city agency. (New York Times, 4/11/06; New York Daily News, 4/11/06).