Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Corrupt contractor praised as 'hero' for cooperating against crooked union leaders


A corrupt contractor who ratted out a raft of crooked union officials was spared any jail time this morning by a judge who hailed him as a "hero."
James Murray fled to his native Ireland to avoid arrest on fraud and embezzlement charges but later voluntarily returned to the U.S. to cooperate with authorities.
His assistance helped the feds bring down several officials at the New York City District Council of Carpenters, including coke-snorting labor leader Michael Forde, now serving an 11-year prison stretch.
In court this morning, Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood sentenced Murray to the brief time he spent in custody between his surrender and guilty plea in a sealed courtroom.
Murray -- who bribed union officials to avoid paying millions in contractual benefits -- could have faced nine years in the slammer under sentencing guidelines.
Wood said his "extraordinarily good memory for facts" helped purge the union of mob influence and affected the livelihood of thousands of workers.
"What you have done for all New Yorkers makes you a genuine hero," she said.
Wood ordered him to pay $5.6 million in restitution to the IRS and forfeit $10.5 million in ill-gotten gains.
Court records show Murray coughed up $8 million to the feds when he surrendered, and his former company -- On Par Contracting -- recently paid a $4.5 million settlement to the carpenters union benefit funds, according to a lawyer for the funds' trustees.
In court, Murray offered a brief apology to his wife, Tracey, her parents and his parents.
"I also want to apologize to the union members," he added.
He declined to comment afterward, beyond downplaying the praise heaped upon him by the judge.
"I'm not a hero," he said sheepishly.


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