Food & Commercial Workers Boss in Brooklyn Sentenced for Racketeering

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 … Read More ➡

Mafia Enforcer Sentenced for Racketeering against UFCW Local in Brooklyn

Even for the mob, union shakedowns can’t go on forever. On July 19, Vincent Esposito, an enforcer for the Genovese crime family, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to two years in prison and three years of supervised release for racketeering conspiracy related to funds he extorted from the Brooklyn-based United Food and Commercial Workers Local 2D over a more than 15-year period. He also was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine, over $3.8 million in asset forfeiture and restitution in an undetermined sum. Ex-local Secretary-Treasurer Vincent D’Acunto Jr. already pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing. Esposito pleaded guilty in April after being indicted in January 2018. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the NYPD and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Esposito, currently in his early 50s, was the love child of the late Genovese family boss of all bosses, Vincent … Read More ➡

Genovese Mobster Pleads Guilty in Brooklyn UFCW Scheme

Mafia wise guys still know how to help union officials upon request. But they also know when to pack it in. On April 10, Vincent Esposito, an enforcer for New York City’s feared Genovese crime family, pleaded guilty in U.S. District for the Southern District of New York to racketeering conspiracy engineered by Vincent D’Acunto, a former Brooklyn-based United Food and Commercial Workers secretary-treasurer. The arrangement netted Esposito millions of dollars. D’Acunto and another former UFCW secretary-treasurer in Brooklyn, Frank Cognetta, each had pleaded guilty this March after being indicted in January 2018. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the NYPD and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Food and Commercial Workers Locals 1D and 2D, each a wine and distillery workers union, were deep in racketeering. Frank Cognetta, secretary-treasurer of UFCW Local 1D, steered nearly $500,000 from a Local … Read More ➡

UFCW Secretary-Treasurers in Brooklyn Plead Guilty to Racketeering

Vincent D’Acunto Jr. knew a lot of Mafia guys who got things done. But even the mob couldn’t bail him out this time. On March 18, D’Acunto, former secretary-treasurer of the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based United Food and Commercial Workers Local 2D, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to racketeering conspiracy. A week earlier, on March 11, Frank Cognetta, former secretary-treasurer of the UFCW Local 1D, also Brooklyn-based, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to racketeering. Each had been arrested and indicted in January 2018, along with two Genovese crime family enforcers, Vincent Esposito and Steven Arena, who did D’Acunto’s dirty work, plus another Genovese mobster. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the NYPD and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 1D and 2D each represent wine and distillery workers. They also were corrupt. According to … Read More ➡

Independent Counsel Report Concludes NYC Transit Local Was Corrupt

Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union long had been a fiefdom of New York’s Genovese crime family. At least three top officers had to resign over various federal criminal allegations. Now a new report is providing even more powerful evidence of a close working relationship between the Mob and the union. On September 6, dissident local members held a news conference to release the contents of a report prepared by an independent counsel in January, concluding that “organized crime, with the full knowledge of certain local and even international officials, had infiltrated and controlled” the Queens, N.Y.-based 15,000-member school bus drivers’ union. 

 

The independent counsel, Richard W. Mark, called upon the parent ATU to bring internal charges against former Local 1181 President Salvatore Battaglia and former Secretary-Treasurer Julius Bernstein, and to conduct a further probe. Battaglia is facing a federal trial, having been indicted in 2005 for racketeering Read More ➡

International Union Puts Corrupt NYC Bus Drivers Local into Trusteeship

A growing number of members of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union for months have been demanding more transparency. There are some pretty good reasons why. Local President Salvatore Battaglia was indicted in June 2005 for racketeering and obstruction of justice, yet somehow managed to keep his job, collecting an annual salary and benefit package of more than $225,000. Secretary-treasurer Julius Bernstein had taken a leave of absence this June and is shortly due for sentencing for racketeering. And Ann Chiarovano still heads the Queens, N.Y.-based Local 1181 pension and welfare benefit fund, even though she pleaded guilty this summer to obstruction of justice, and also faces sentencing. 

 

ATU International President Warren George had seen enough. He placed the school bus drivers union, with roughly 15,000 members, in “immediate temporary trusteeship.” Prompting the action was the fact that Battaglia on November 20 had been charged with another offense: shaking Read More ➡

Mob-Controlled Queens, N.Y. Bus Drivers Local Threatens, Ignores Members

Members of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) want some answers about where their money is going. That’s understandable given the caliber of people running the show. The president of the 15,000-member Queens, N.Y. school bus drivers’ local, Salvatore Battaglia, is facing federal charges of obstruction of justice, having been accused of conspiring with members of New York’s Genovese crime family. He’s still in office. The union’s secretary-treasurer, Julius Bernstein, was forced by prosecutors to step down from his post in June; he’s due for sentencing late next month for racketeering. And its pension fund director, Ann Chiarovano, despite pleading guilty in August to obstruction of justice, remains at her job because she is technically not a union officer. Something is amiss here.

 

Some dissenting members think the parent union is a silent partner of the local. “It’s a disgrace,” said member Gloria Flaherty. “The union local is Read More ➡

Members of Bus Drivers Local Seek a National Union Takeover

Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, in Queens, N.Y., consulted for years with New York’s Genovese crime family. Unfortunately, it didn’t consult with its own 13,000 members. Now, in the wake of federal prosecutions of the local’s leaders, the union’s national headquarters are getting an earful from local rank and file, which consist of drivers of school buses, private buses, and vans.

On July 28, federal agents and local police arrested 20 alleged mob members and associates, including Local 1181’s president, treasurer and pension director. The latter three persons are, respectively, Salvatore Battaglia, 58, Julius “Spike” Bernstein, 82, and Ann Chiarovano, 64. The indictment leading to the arrests charged, among other things, that Bernstein conspired with top Genovese mobster Matty “the Horse” Ianniello to extort cash payments from a medical center that rented space from the local. Some local members aren’t too happy about this turn of events. “We … Read More ➡