FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: U. S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

SEPTEMBER 6, 2000 MARVIN SMILON, HERBERT HADAD

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE

(212) 637‑2600

DAVID N. KELLEY

(212) 637‑1025

JOSEPH F, BIANCO

(212) 627‑1038

KEVIN S. REED

(212) 637‑1062

JOSEPH A,. VALIQUETTE

(212) 384‑2175

J$ M MARGOLIN

(212) 384‑2720

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

MARY JO WHITE, the United States Attorney for the

Southern District of New York, and HARRY MAWN, the Assistant

Director in Charge of the New York Office of the FBI, announced

the unsealing today in Manhattan federal court of an indictment

charging six defendants, including the three members of the

Luchese Organized Crime Family's "Construction Panel', -- ANTHONY PEZZULLO, a/k/a "Razor," a/k/a "Razorhead," PHILLIP DESIMONE,. a/k/a "Philly," and JOSEPH DATELLO, a/k/a "Big Joe," a/k/a "Joey Glasses," -- in connection with criminal activities of the Luchese Family in the New York City construction industry. The charges in the six‑count Indictment include conspiracy to commit

 

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extortion, wire fraud and loan sharking,

 

PEZZULLO, DESIMONE, and DATELLO are alleged to have comprised the Luchese Family's Construction Panel, whose purpose was to oversee Luchese Family interests in the New York City construction industry, since at least the mid‑199os. The Indictment also alleges that JOSEPH ARTHUR ZAMBARDI, who is a Luchese made‑member, arid ANDREW REYNOLDS assisted the construction Panel in the supervision of the illicit labor peace arrangements and extortionate demands in the construction industry. ANTHONY RUCERETO was charged with wire fraud in connection with a sheet rock contract.

 

In particular, the indictment alleges that, fox many years, the Luchese Construction Panel has been involved in, among other things, the. following: (1) securing contracts for contractors associated with the Luchese Family either by bid‑rigging, force or other illegal means; (2) providing "labor peace" for contractors associated with the Luchese Family by intervening on a contractor's behalf with various construction‑related unions either by force, intimidation, or illicit payments to corrupt union officials; (3) extorting construction contractors by requiring them to pay money to the Luchese Family in exchange for being allowed to obtain or perform certain construction work; (4) assisting contractors associated with the Luchese Family in the collection of money owed by other companies to such contractors from construction jobs; (5) settling disputes that arose with other La Cosa Nostra Families

 

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in connection with the construction activities of contractors associated with the Luchese Family; and (6) ensuring that the illegal proceeds obtained from contractors in connection with the above‑referenced activities were properly distributed to the Luchese hierarchy. It is further alleged that PEZZULLO was removed from the Construction Panel in mid‑1998,

 

Among the criminal acts charged in the Indictment is a bid‑rigging scheme in connection with sheetrock work performed by S&S Contracting Company in 1998 at the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan. Specifically, DATELLO, and RUCERETO, a representative of S&S Contracting Company, are charged with wire fraud relating to that company being awarded the sheetrock work for renovations at the Park Central Hotel at a fraudulently inflated bid of approximately $5 million in exchange for a cash kickback to a representative of the construction management company supervising the renovation project.

 

The indictment further charges PEZZULLO, DESIMONE, DATELLO, ZAMBARDI and REYNOLDS with conspiracy to commit extortion of union officials and construction companies on behalf of a masonry company called Commercial Brick. PEZZULLO and ZAMBARDI also are charged with, conspiracy to extort union officials on behalf of the operators of DIBA Construction and Grand Train Construction. Finally, DATELLO is charged with making and collecting an extortionate extension of credit from 1997 through 1999.

 

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If convicted of these charges, the defendants face maximum jail sentences on the various counts ranging from 5 years to 20 years in prison. A complete summary of the charges and maximum penalties is attached below.

 

PEZZULLO, 52, lives in Elmsford, New York.

 

DESIMONE, 53, lives in port Lee, New Jersey.

 

DATELLO, 49, lives in Staten Island, New York.

 

ZAMBARDI, 52, lives in the Bronx, New York.

 

REYNOLDS, 51, lives in Staten Island, New York.

 

RUCERETO, (age not available), lives in Blairstown, New Jersey.

 

Ms. WHITE stated: "Organized crime has had an extortionate grip over legitimate business in the construction industry for many years. This Indictment, charging four members of the Luchese crime Family including the entire Luchese Construction Panel in connection with criminal activity in the construction industry, represents an important step in law enforcement's efforts to end organized crime's extortionate influence and control over this industry."

 

Mr. MAWN stated: "The court papers unsealed today describe an all‑too‑familiar laundry list of criminal activities in which organized crime engages in its constant effort to infiltrate and control legitimate businesses and industries. Hid‑rigging, intimidation, extortion and bribes to corrupt union officials are the mob's tools of the trade. This investigation

 

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confirms once again that the mob is far from dead and that the entire law enforcement community must maintain its perseverance in its efforts to reduce the influence of organized crime."

Ms. WHITE praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI in connection with this investigation.

Assistant United States Attorneys JOSEPH F. BIANCO and KEVIN S. REED are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

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2000 All Rights reserved

 


SUMMARY OF CHARGES AND MAXIMUM, SENTENCES

Defendant

 

 

 

 

Charge

No. of counts

Maximum Penalty

 

 

 

per count

 

 

 

 

ANTHONY PEZZULLO

Extortion

2

20 years

 

Conspiracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHILLIP DESIMONE

Extortion

1

20 years

 

Conspiracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOSEPH DATELLO

Extortion

1

 

 

Conspiracy

 

20 years

 

 

 

 

 

Wire Fraud

1

5 years

 

 

 

 

 

Wire Fraud

1

5 years

 

Conspiracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making an

Extortionate

1

20 years

 

Extension of

 

 

 

Credit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collecting an

Extortionate

1

20 years

 

Extension of

 

 

 

Credit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOSEPH ARTHUR

Extortion

 

40 years

ZAMBARDI

Conspiracy

2

 

 

 

 

 

ANDREW REYNOLDS

Extortion

1

20 years

 

Conspiracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANTHONY RUCERETO

Wire Fraud

 

5 years

 

 

1

 

 

Wire Fraud

1

5 years

 

Conspiracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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