Once your mob partners start going to prison, it’s hard to stay out yourself. Vincent D’Acunto has learned the hard way. On August 9, D’Acunto, former secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 2D, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to 10 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a racketeering conspiracy involving members of the Genovese crime family. A Genovese soldier, Vincent Esposito, was sentenced this July to two years in prison for running an extortion racket on behalf of the Brooklyn-based union. These and related actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the NYPD and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Union Corruption Update has been covering this sequence of events since the indictments were handed down in January 2018. Two of the defendants were Frank Cognetta and Vincent D’Acunto, respectively, secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1D and 2D, each based in Brooklyn. Both had pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy charges. In the case of D’Acunto, the mob had a strong hand in things. According to prosecutors, he conspired with Genovese family defendants Steven Arena and Vincent Esposito, plus four other reputed Genovese made men, in a scheme lasting during 2001-17 in which Arena and Esposito extorted millions of dollars in union funds from an unnamed Local 2D officer. The takedown of Esposito was especially symbolic victory over organized crime because he is the son of the late Genovese boss of all bosses, Vincent “the Chin” Gigante.