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

Thursday, July 18, 2013

92nd Street Y executive linked to mafia pump and dump stock scheme

In 1997. Salvatore Taddeo, right, was busted along with Genovese and Bonanno crime family members for participating in a pump and dump stock scheme. He left prison in December 2000, then went to work for the 92nd Street Y, rising to become head of facilities operations in 2005. Now he's the center of a kickback probe by the institution.

An ex-con busted for his role in a Mafia-run Wall Street scam is a central figure in an unfolding scandal at the 92nd Street Y, the Daily News has learned.Salvatore Taddeo, who for years ran the Y’s contracting operations, is the focus of a kickback investigation by the prestigious upper East Side cultural institution, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Taddeo left the organization in February, shortly before it received allegations that he was involved in a scheme to demand kickbacks from Y 92nd Street Yvendors, the sources said.

One area of inquiry is Taddeo’s role in overseeing bids on an abandoned taxpayer-funded project to build a Tribeca branch of the Y, according to the sources.

In 1997 Taddeo, then a stockbroker, was busted along with members of the Genovese and Bonanno crime families.

They were all charged with participating in a pump and dump scheme in which the mob would pay off corrupt brokers to hype stock in phantom companies in which gangsters secretly held stock.

The brokers would sell enough stock to unsuspecting investors to drive up its value. When it peaked, the gangsters would sell all their shares at once, sending the stocks off the cliff and leaving the dupes with nothing.

Taddeo pleaded guilty in January 1999 to fraud conspiracy and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, records show.

He paid $10,000 restitution and left prison in December 2000, then went to work for the Y, rising to become head of facilities operations in 2005, sources say.

Y officials would not discuss if they knew about his past.

When the Y got the tip about kickbacks after Taddeo’s departure, an internal investigation uncovered evidence that Taddeo engaged in “improper conduct,” sources said.

In an email to supporters, the Y — without naming Taddeo — said the evidence was “disclosed to the appropriate authorities.” A spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

The state-run Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which gave the Y $1.2 million in federal funds to build the Tribeca branch, questioned Y director Sol Adler about Taddeo’s role in that project.

Adler is currently on medical leave.

David Emil, director of the development corporation, said Y officials claimed Taddeo was not directly involved in the project. But Taddeo is listed on documents as the recipient of bids for a $250,000 HVAC system at the Tribeca Y, as well as $800,000 in audio-visual equipment installed there.

The Tribeca project fell apart when the Y decided not to stay in its renovated space in lower Manhattan. Emil said the nonprofit had agreed to refund a “significant portion” of the money it received for the project.



Post a Comment