NYC Construction Union Boss Accused of Links to Gambino Crime Family

James Cahill, former president of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, used to lean hard on public officials. But since his October 1 indictment for solicitation of bribery, and the indictment of 10 other union officials, they’ve been leaning hard on him. Late in December, in a new filing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, rejecting his request for leniency, alleged that Cahill has “extensive ties to organized crime,” citing his frequent meetings with known mobsters. His lawyer, Sam Talkin, disputes the allegation: “Mr. Cahill does not have any ties to organized crime. The government cites ancient anecdotes and contradictory information in support of their claim.” Yet the evidence is convincing. And it might be connected to a wave of guilty pleas last month by 11 Gambino crime family members and associates in a separate case.

The Albany-based New York … Read More ➡

Five Upstate New York Plumbers Plead Guilty in Benefit Scam

Stealing was a group effort at United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 773. So was pleading guilty. On November 5, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York announced that five members of the Glens Falls, N.Y.-based union had pleaded guilty over the course of July 30 through November 5 of this year to defrauding the union health plan out of a combined sum of more than $65,000. The defendants – Christopher Roberts, Earl Graham, Jamie Ruggiero, Shawn Martindale and Torey Gannon – each had received reimbursements under false pretenses. As part of the agreement, they agreed to pay restitution. The pleas follow a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

According to prosecutors, the defendants submitted fake receipts for reimbursements of nonexistent medical expenses. Their respective hauls were: Roberts ($11,500); Graham ($14,052.72); Ruggiero ($15,721.70); Martindale ($3,748.89); … Read More ➡

Eleven New York Building Trades Union Officials Charged in Bribery Racket

New York City-area construction unions are well-known for being on the take. A recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice won’t likely alter that reputation. On October 1, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the arrest and indictment of 11 officials of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council on various charges related to their receipt of over $100,000 in bribes from nonunion contractors in return for bid-rigging, in the process selling out the dues-paying union members whom they represented. Led by Trades Council President James Cahill, the defendants are current or former members of two local affiliates of the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters. Aiding in the probe was the Suffolk County (Long Island), N.Y. district attorney’s office. All the defendants pleaded not guilty at arraignment.

It’s a common form of back-scratching in the world of organized labor: An … Read More ➡

Former Plumbers Employee in Texas Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On July 22, Karen Pierce, former employee of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 142, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to one count of embezzling funds from the San Antonio-based union in an unspecified amount. She had been indicted on eight counts in February 2019. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Office Employee of Dallas-Area Plumbers Local Indicted for Theft

On May 17, Claudia Beltran, former office assistant for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 100, was indicted in Kaufman County, Texas court for misapplication of fiduciary property in the sum of between $2,500 and $30,000. The union is based in nearby Garland (Dallas County). The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡