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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bronx produce wholesaler with Genovese ties is closed by government

There were several clear tip-offs to investigators that ADJ Wholesale Produce in the Bronx was simply operating with a new name after its license was pulled in February.
The letters “ADJ” on a truck were thinly covered over in white paint, according to court papers, and some employees also still had email addresses that contained “ADJ” in them.
Then there was the huge word “DUTCHIE” – the name of ADJ’s limited liability corporation — still painted inside the wholesaler’s Hunts Point Market offices.
On Tuesday, investigators for the Business Integrity Commission and New York Police Department officers assigned to the agency shut down Jaraq Produce, which never registered its business with the city, seizing its trucks and other equipment.
Attorneys for the commission — which regulates the city’s private trash haulers and wholesale markets with a special interest at rooting out organized crime — had been granted a court order Monday evening after presenting information to a Bronx judge reportedly showing that the business on Ryawa Avenue had been operating illegally since at least June.
“BIC is here to ensure a level playing field for the market businesses we regulate,” Shari Hyman, BIC commissioner, wrote in an email Tuesday. “Today’s action highlights the need for continued oversight to ensure that those who refuse to play by the rules and erode a fair marketplace are held accountable.”
A woman who answered the phone at Jaraq’s Brooklyn warehouse Tuesday declined comment.
According to court papers, Jaraq had been issued three violations over the summer for running an unregistered business. But the company ignored the orders, didn’t apply for a license and continued supplying fruits and vegetables to delicatessens and restaurants across the city.
A hearing is scheduled in Bronx Supreme Court for Thursday to give the company a chance to show why it should be allowed to re-open.
According to its request for a restraining order, commission officials said they have “submitted clear and convincing evidence that the current operators of the subject premises are the successors of the two prior companies.”
Both those companies were barred from doing business because of alleged ties to organize crime.
Investigators made the connection between those other two companies because after C & S Wholesale Produce closed, ADJ began operating in the same warehouse and didn’t change the C & S phone or fax numbers, BIC records show.
BIC has alleged that both those companies were run by 63-year-old John Caggiano of the Bronx. Investigators say they’ve found no evidence that connects Mr. Caggiano with Jaraq. They did, however, take surveillance photographs a car that was regularly parked at the Bronx facility that belonged to a relative of Mr. Caggiano. Mr. Caggiano couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday. The courts papers do not include any direct evidence that connects Mr. Caggiano with Jaraq.
In 2007, BIC denied Mr. Caggiano and his former company, C & S, a license to operate three months after he was charged in an indictment with running an illegal gambling ring at Hunts Point Market.
At the time, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged that Mr. Caggiano was part of a sports betting and “numbers” gambling operation in the market that took in $1 million worth of bets a year. The district attorney said that Mr. Caggiano acted as a “lieutenant” in the ring, which was headed by Ralph Balsamo, who they identified as a member of the Genovese crime family with the moniker of “the Undertaker” because he co-owned a Bronx funeral parlor.
In August 2008, Mr. Caggiano pleaded guilty to enterprise corruption. He served 14 months in prison before being released on parole. BIC officials say that Mr. Caggiano later admitted to his parole officer that he had dissolved C & S and made it into ADJ, letters that correspond to the first letters in the names of his wife and two children.
This February, BIC denied ADJ’s application to renew its license based on the fact that it failed to identify Mr. Caggiano as a principal of the company.
Paul Gentile, a lawyer who represented Mr. Caggiano’s C & S company, said he couldn’t comment because he doesn’t represent him and hadn’t been in contact with Mr. Caggiano recently.



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