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

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Mob connected construction executive convicted of posing as woman owned business to win contracts

A repeatedly convicted Manhattan contractor with mob ties was sentenced to two to six years in prison on Tuesday for a litany of crimes including endangering his workers and pocketing millions while disguising his firm as woman-owned in order to draw lucrative carpentry contracts.

A smiling Larry Wecker, 83, wearing a burgundy shirt, gray pants and handcuffs, appeared calm at his brief Manhattan Supreme Court sentencing, with nothing to say before Judge Althea Drysdale handed down the term.

He agreed to the stint in an upstate New York prison in a deal with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office before pleading guilty to enterprise corruption in January for several schemes. Those included covering up undocumented workers’ injuries and stiffing them on wages and benefits, stealing thousands from his clients through phony bills and pretending that a woman owned his company, JM3.

Wecker also copped to attempted weapons possession for packing a  .38-caliber revolver at his Sutton Place, Manhattan, apartment. His company pleaded guilty to scheme to defraud.

Over the decades, Wecker has racked up multiple state and federal convictions for involvement in organized crime and corrupt construction work, including in 2001 for bribing a labor official in a case brought by former DA Bob Morgenthau that identified Wecker as an associate of the Lucchese and Genovese crime families. He served 16 months for those crimes. The same year, he pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to conspiracy to commit tax crimes stemming from the mob’s reign over New York’s concrete industry, getting a 41-month term.

The convicted octogenarian was arrested in May 2023 along with seven other players in construction following a large-scale probe by the DA that was prompted by suspicious cash checking. Indicted beside Wecker for falsifying business records was his longtime associate, contractor Shamsuddin Riza, who’s since pleaded guilty in a separate case to orchestrating a straw donor scheme to pump illegal donations into Eric Adams’ 2021 campaign for mayor. Adams has not been accused of wrongdoing in that case.

Starting in 2015, Wecker’s latest schemes included creating a bogus firm called LNR Construction in co-defendant Lisa Rossi’s name and getting it certified as minority- or women-owned to obtain contracts as a pass-through, prosecutors said.

He also falsified records and laundered millions to make it appear as though his firm, which specializes in drywall and carpentry in government-subsidized affordable housing, was subcontracting with women- or minority-owned firms, according to court docs. Wecker bribed legitimately deserving business owners to bid on multimillion-dollar city and state contracts, prosecutors said.

The contracts were for at least seven projects in Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and New Rochelle, N.Y., and required a portion of the work to be done by women or minority workers. They were instead handled by Wecker’s more than 60 employees and subcontractor companies that mainly enlisted undocumented laborers without insurance to work for cash.

In court papers filed when Wecker was indicted, prosecutors said he often sought to cover up injuries suffered by off-the-books workers. In a call intercepted in January 2021, Wecker said one of his laborers who had just broken his arm on the job “don’t need no f–king doctor” and told the foreman in charge to make the injured worker come back to work the next day and then pretend the person fell on the street.

Asked for comment Tuesday, Bragg’s office pointed to a previous statement that described Wecker’s scams as having robbed legitimate minority and women-owned businesses of the chance to do business. Wecker’s Palm Beach, Fla.-board attorney, Robert Franklin, did not immediately return the Daily News’ call seeking comment.


1 comment:

  1. The man is 83 YEARS OLD! WHY give him 6 years instead of probation or house arrest?? This is perhaps a DEATH SENTENCE as he is most likely on meds, needs constant medical attention due to his advanced age.... I don't care if he's connected to a GAZILLION crime families and has a sleazy record... This is JUDICIAL ABUSE to sentence such an elderly person to prison at ALL... With proper monitoring, visits to his residence, restrictions on travel, house arrest would suffice. SHAME ON YOU IN THE COURT SYSTEM, ETC.!!! It almost reminds us of COP KILLINGS in a WAY...