UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. MARK CONGI, et al.
States Attorney Michael A. Battle announced today the unsealing of a
7‑count Indictment charging 14 members of Laborers Local 91, based in
Niagara Falls, New York, with engaging in a violent scheme to extort both
local and out-of-town businesses of their right to hire and retain workers
of their choice at construction projects in Niagara County.
The Indictment specifically accuses the defendants, including
several high-ranking officers of Local 91, with conspiracy to commit
racketeering in violation of Title 18, United States Codes, Section
1962(d), five counts of extortion in violation of Title 18, United States
Code, Section 1951, and destruction of a motor vehicle engaged in commerce,
in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 33.
Charged in the Indictment were:
CONGI, age 41
DELLACCIO, age 56
BERTINO, age 50
“BUTCH” QUARCINI, age 71
CELESTE, age 60
ANDREW SHOMERS, age 39
SPATORICO, age 55
TOMASCIK, JR., age 36
BELLRENG, age 48
PERRY, age 41
CERRONE, age 37
LOSTRACCO, age 32
MARKLE, age 41
McKEOWN, age 45
of the charged offenses are punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of
twenty years, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Additionally, the defendants will be ordered to forfeit any interest
maintained or acquired in Local 91, including their management positions
within the union, should they be convicted of the racketeering charge.
should be noted that the fact that a defendant has been charged with a
crime ... is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent
until and unless proven guilty.
(Disciplinary Rule 7-107(B)(6)).
Mr. Battle indicated that the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice will be advising the Laborers’ International Union of North America — which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. — of the return of the Indictment and that because the Indictment relates to the conduct of the affairs of Local 91, the International’s Ethics and Disciplinary Procedures mandate that the current officers who are named in the Indictment — Mark Congi, Salvatore Bertino, Michael Quarcini and Albert Celeste — be placed on a temporary leave of absence with full pay pending a disciplinary hearing before the International’s Independent Hearing Officer. That Independent Hearing Officer must then hold a hearing to determine whether and for how long to continue the suspension.
Battle noted also that if they are convicted, these officers would be
barred from holding any official position within the union for up to 13
to U.S. Attorney Battle, the Indictment alleges that from at least 1996 to
the present, high ranking officers of Local 91, including current Business
Manager Michael “Butch” Quarcini, Assistant Business Manager Albert
Celeste, President Mark Congi, and now retired, past-President Dominick
Dellaccio, directed Local 91 members whose principal objective was to force
employers to hire workers selected by the defendants.
The Indictment alleges that the defendants tried to enforce and
enforced their demands by threatening to commit and by committing acts of
bodily harm, destruction of property, and workplace sabotage.
Indictment also alleges that the violence committed by the defendants was
not confined to construction sites, and included violence perpetrated
against innocent bystanders and persons suspected of cooperating with law
Attorney Battle reported that the Indictment was the product of a 4-year
investigation coordinated by Assistant United States Attorney William J.
Hochul, Jr. Mr. Battle also
praised the tireless efforts of the investigating agencies and agents who
actively participated in this long-term investigation:
the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the leadership of Special
Agent in Charge Peter J. Ahearn, the United States Department of Labor,
Office of Inspector General under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge
John McGlynn, the New York State Police under the leadership of Captain
Thomas M. Fresenius, Detail Commander, Special Investigation Unit, the
Niagara County Sheriff’s Department under the leadership of Sheriff
Thomas Beilein, and the Niagara Falls Police Department under the
leadership of Superintendent Christopher Carlin.
the investigation into additional suspected criminal actions committed by
Local 91 members and others is continuing.
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