Mob Associates Nabbed in Scheme to Rip Off NYC Union - NBC New York

Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Mob Associates Nabbed in Scheme to Rip Off NYC Union



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    What to Know

    • Five associates of the Genovese crime family face decades in prison

    • Prosecutors allege a years-long scheme involved extorting a union officer and taking bribes

    • One of the suspects is a labor union officer at the union

    Five Genovese crime family associates face federal racketeering charges for an alleged years-long plot to rip off a local union, according to a federal indictment filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.

    Prosecutors say the arrests of the five men this week follow a years-long investigation. The scheme allegedly dated back to at least 2001 and lasted through October of last year. 

    The suspects were identified as: Vincent Esposito, 50; Steven Arena, 60; Frank Giovinco, 50; Frank Cognetta, 42; and Vincent D’Acunto, Jr.

    Prosecutors say Esposito, Arena and D’Acunto conspired “to extort annual cash payments from an officer at a labor union by threatening the officer with violence and the loss of the officer’s job.”

    Cognetta is a labor union officer at that union, Local 1-D of the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union. The indictment alleges he “engaged in multiple schemes to defraud his union […] by, among other things, soliciting and accepting bribes and steering union benefit plans into investments in exchange for kickbacks.”

    Cognetta is also accused of taking bribes from a financial advisor who he’d appointed as an insurance broker for a Local 1-D medical insurance plan.

    The five men each face decades in prison if found guilty. It wasn’t immediately known if they had attorneys.

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