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.