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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Former union president gets 5 years in prison for extortion scheme

A crooked, second-generation labor leader was sentenced this morning to five years in the slammer for his role in a $2.5 million scheme to shake down business owners and plunder his union's benefit funds.

Anthony Fazio Jr. -- who claims he only netted $69,000 from the long-running scam -- was also nearly hit with a $1 million fine, but the judge held off on that punishment pending further review of his finances.

Fazio Jr.'s lawyer argued that much of his client's $4 million net worth "is really his father's money" which was stashed in joint accounts.

Manhattan federal Judge Katherine Forrest said that while she didn't know how Fazio got his dough, he "should be ashamed of spending" whatever wasn't rightfully his.

"You are the one who knows how much of your assets belong to others," she said, urging him not to fight the feds over forfeiture of his ill-gotten gains.

In addition to his prison time, Forrest sentenced Fazio to three-plus years of house arrest following his release.

Fazio had faced more than 10 years in the slammer for conspiring with his father and cousin to extort about $1.8 million from business owners in exchange for good relations with with Local 348-S of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

His father, former union president Anthony Fazio Sr., and his cousin, former vice president John Fazio, were also convicted of looting more than $700,000 from the union through a fake-invoice scam.

Fazio Jr. took control of the allegedly mobbed-up labor organization after his dad, who founded the Brooklyn-based local in 1976, retired in January 2010.

Forrest said she believed the younger Fazio, 37, was the least responsible among the corrupt kin for their "quite brazen" rip-off, which dates to at least 1989.

But she blasted him for choosing to go along with the racket at the same time he was starting a family with his wife, with whom he's raising an adopted son.

"A decade is a very long time, in the court's view, for an individual such as yourself, Mr. Fazio, to wake up and go to work as part of a continuing conspiracy," she said.

Fazio's father and cousin are scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 13.



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