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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Unlicensed waste hauler's mob ties exposed

An unlicensed waste hauler run by a convicted felon flew under the radar of state regulators and got $250,000 in taxpayer-funded cleanup work because another company allowed it to use its decals, state officials said Wednesday.

A state Department of Environmental Protection investigation, spurred by a report in The Record, found that Central Jersey Waste and Recycling, a hauler based in Mercer County, violated state rules by allowing Ace Materials and other companies to use equipment registered under its name. Central Jersey Waste and Recycling received a violation notice earlier this month, the first step in an enforcement process that could involve penalties and fines, officials said.

The investigation into Ace Materials, the unlicensed company that used the decals, is ongoing, officials said.

Ace’s use of another company’s decals gave it access to restricted dumping sites, and a stake in the multi-million-dollar cleanup, without proper registration from the state agency that is charged with keeping companies run by criminals out of the waste hauling industry. The regulations enforced by the state’s environmental agency grew out of New Jersey’s long history of illegal dumping and mob-involvement in the industry.

The investigation was initiated after a Record story focusing on Ace Materials and its owner raised questions about how carefully the state and its primary contractor overseeing the cleanup, AshBritt, Inc., screened more than 100 subcontractors hired to haul three million cubic yards wreckage left by the storm. AshBritt also said at the time that it was conducting an internal audit as a result of the report, but a spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. Neither did Central Jersey Waste and Recycling.

In the Record’s report, the self-described owner of Ace Materials, John Stangle, Jr. gave conflicting accounts of who was behind the company — initially saying he was a partner of a longtime Gambino associate who owned a New Jersey hauling company with a nearly identical name. Stangle later changed his story, saying he didn’t know Anthony O’Donnell, who at one point was part owner of Ace Materials and Trucking Ltd., which federal prosecutors have said was “mob-controlled.”

Stangle also has a criminal record, which includes a conviction for theft conspiracy for coordinating with an employee of a Pennsylvania chemical company to steal a truckload of salt worth $9,000, police records show.

Central Jersey Waste is owned by Frank Fiumefreddo Jr., whose father was “booted from the industry for life by New York authorities” after pleading guilty in the 1990s to corruption charges related to protecting his company’s territory from other firms, according to a 2011 State Commission of Investigation report. The report said that Frank Fiumefreddo Sr. was a onetime business partner with a member of the Gambino crime family and that he controlled Central Jersey Waste after his son purchased it in 2003 through a consulting arrangement that hid his interest in the firm.

In written responses to the SCI report, lawyers for Fiumefreddo and his son said there was never an attempt to hide information about the company’s ownership, and they denied that the elder Fiumefreddo was associated with organized crime. In December 2004, state regulators said that the elder Fiumefreddo could not have any involvement in the company and that the company had to repay money he had loaned it, the SCI said.

A DEP spokesman said the agency had requested additional information from Central Jersey Waste and Recycling when they issued the violation on March 4. “We are awaiting their formal response,” said spokesman Larry Hajna. He said the company has been issued one other violation in recent years, involving failure to properly maintain a roll-off container.

The violation notice says the company allowed Ace Materials, DMS Enterprises, and Organic Soils to use equipment with Central Jersey’s transporter registration. It was unclear Wednesday how DMS and Organic Soils were involved. Hajna declined to answer questions about those two companies, citing the ongoing investigation.



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