According to reports, five members of the Genovese crime family were busted by the feds on racketeering charges tied to the shakedown of local unions.
The mobsters arrested included Vincent Esposito, Frank Cognetta, Frank Giovinco, Steven Arena and Vincent D’Acunto Jr. They have been accused of accepting illegal kickbacks and extortion according to court documents which also outlined the use of threats of physical violence and economic harm to keep everyone in line. The feds claim that union big-wigs paid annual tribute to the New York Mafia family or were subjected to these violent threats. They claim this mafia conspiracy has been ongoing since back in 2001 and ran through October of 2017.
According to the feds Esposito, Arena, and D’Acunto were taking annual cash payments from a labor union official in exchange for letting him keep his job. Cognetta was getting kickbacks in return for steering employee benefits plan funds from the Local 1-D of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union into specific annuity contract investments as stated in the NYDailynews report. He also got illegal payouts in exchange for appointing a specific financial advisor as an insurance broker. This bust shows the continuing efforts of Cosa Nostra to maintain their influence in local unions. The Genovese family often referred to as the “Ivy League” of organized crime has been involved in union corruption for decades despite the efforts of law enforcement.