In a three-part series, the New York Daily News exposes how “real-life Tony Sopranos and mobbed-up contractors steal your tax dollars, put workers’ lives in danger and even screw up traffic at rush hour.” The paper says New York’s organized crime families – supposedly banned from all such public construction projects – are back in public works at city schools, playgrounds, bridges and parks. Since 1995, dozens of contractors barred from doing government work because of mob ties, corruption or serious safety violations have been able to win more than 100 public contracts worth more than $1.2 billion.
The massive $138 million repair of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway repair is the work of Defoe Construction, a firm the FBI says has been controlled by organized crime for years. Defoe was hired in May by the State of New York for the BQE job, just weeks after its president was indicted on charges of bribing a mob-infected union. The FBI has gathered evidence over the last few years that Defoe president John Amicucci has regularly paid off mob-connected unions to use cheaper nonunion help. On government jobs, prosecutors say, that means Defoe billed the taxpayer for union scale, hired nonunion help and pocketed the difference as profit.