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

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Staten Island businessman is found not guilty and denies being Genovese soldier


https://www.silive.com/resizer/p8rHnFzhUQPPEZAOiuTgdbObnF0=/960x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-advancelocal.s3.amazonaws.com/public/XTBR3FOKCREJPAYQA6S3OULFOY.JPG
A Staten Island businessman says he had his world turned upside down after he was accused of being a Genovese mobster who rigged construction deals.
“The smearing of my name — it destroyed my family and clients stayed away,” said Chris Chierchio, 50, of Annadale, in an interview with the Advance.
“I’m 100 percent innocent,” said the father of three. “I just needed God on my side.”
Chierchio, who owns Rci Plbg, Inc. in Midland Beach, was acquitted Tuesday of bid-rigging after a week-long bench trial in Manhattan state Supreme Court.
The Islander pounded the table and kissed his lawyer, Gerald McMahon, after Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus found him not guilty in the alleged construction scheme.
Chierchio and his co-defendant, Long Island resident Anthony Milohnic, were accused of colluding to fix construction bids for a luxury apartment building in Brooklyn, authorities said. Milohnic was also acquitted.
“There was a roar in the courtroom -- I had 25 friends in the room,” Chierchio said.
“Justice triumphed,” McMahon said. “It was a very nice win.”
Last year, the defendants were charged with felony agreement, arrangement, or combination in restraint of trade or competition. Authorities allege the defendants schemed to ensure there was a lack of competition for the plumbing, sprinkler and HVAC bids for a new luxury residential building at 613 Baltic St. in Brooklyn.
The investigation included information from court-authorized wiretaps, the execution of search warrants and the review of financial records.
The South Shore resident said he first heard of the probe after dozens of officers and FBI agents approached him near a church in 2016. They told him he was being investigated for bid-rigging and asked him to cooperate in the case. He was arrested last March.
“I was in deep shock,” he said.
In the press release announcing his arrest, authorities alleged Chierchio was a “reputed soldier” in the Genovese organized crime family. The accusation stemmed from a previous investigation, “Operation Shark Bait,” which led to more than a dozen arrests for enterprise corruption in Brooklyn, authorities said.
“It’s complete nonsense,” he said about his alleged mob ties, adding he did plead guilty to bribing a labor official in 2004 and served 18 months in state prison.
Chierchio said he had hooked up a friend and a client for the Brooklyn project, and the $1.8 million plumbing and sprinkler job was already his. He also invested millions into the project, he said.
“We didn’t bid rig,” he said. “The owner testified that it was my job to lose.”
During the trial, McMahon said the state only played seven wiretap calls, and his client was heard for about four minutes on the recordings.
“The case was always thin," said the lawyer.
Chierchio was also charged with criminal tax fraud for allegedly evading $94,094 in personal income tax, officials said. That case is still pending, he said.
The Attorney General’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

https://www.silive.com/news/2019/01/im-100-percent-innocent-si-man-acquitted-of-bid-rigging-denies-mob-allegation.html


1 comment: