" ... In the past decade, government agencies at all levels have spent more than half a billion dollars to hire mobbed-up contractors ... "...
FEDS FOOLED BY SHADY FIRM CALLED ENOPAC The company name is CAPONE written backward - which should be a clue! ...
A DAILY NEWS INVESTIGATION INTO CITY AND LAW AGENCY LINKS TO COMPANIES WITH ORGANIZED CRIME BACKGROUNDS
NY Daily News
BY THOMAS ZAMBITO AND GREG B. SMITH
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
December 5th 2004
WHEN THE FBI needed help digging up a muddy Mafia graveyard in Queens recently, a Brooklyn heavy-equipment company wound up with the job. It turns out the owners of the company they hired, Enopac Leasing, were connected to the mob.
Of course, the FBI had no idea that Enopac had mob ties, but maybe it should have - after all, Enopac is Capone spelled backward.
But don't single out the FBI for its lack of acumen.
In the past decade, government agencies at all levels have spent more than half a billion dollars to hire mobbed-up contractors, a Daily News investigation found.
Gangster-tainted contractors built a prison in Brooklyn, poured the concrete for the city-funded Staten Island Yankees stadium, capped the Fresh Kills Landfill and even renovated West Point.
Law enforcement supposedly cleaned up the construction business in the 1980s.
In recent weeks, new mob informants have made it clear that the decades-old marriage between some major New York contractors and the Mafia is as strong as ever.
The mob is still pocketing its percentage. Contractors are still bribing Mafia-corrupted unions to look the other way as they hire cheaper, nonunion help.
The News probe found mobbed-up contractors pulled in more than $795 million in government contracts in the past decade - with taxpayers often picking up the tab.
But perhaps no case was as strange as Enopac Leasing.
On Oct. 4, the FBI began dredging up a waterlogged lot in Ozone Park after new informers said they might find bodies buried by the mob. The bureau contacted a vendor they often use; the vendor in turn hired a company run by Stephen Capone to provide heavy equipment.
For three weeks, Capone's bulldozers and trucks worked long hours, helping the FBI dig, and by Oct. 25, artifacts of two slain gangsters had surfaced.
The News has learned that for years Capone owned a Brooklyn carting company, Capone & Denilo. In December 2000, the city denied Capone & Denilo a license to pick up garbage, declaring its owners were "active participants in a mob cartel."
For decades, that cartel drove up costs for consumers by imposing a monopoly on commercial trash pickup in Manhattan.
The city's Trade Waste Commission charged that Stephen Capone and his brother and business partner, Albert, were aligned with Genovese capo Alphonse (Allie Shades) Malangone.
At one point, Malangone intervened in a dispute with another mob family to ensure Capone & Denilo held on to a lucrative customer, according to city documents.
Albert Capone admitted he knew Malangone's mob affiliation and that the Mafia controlled the carting cartel, stating, "It was always a known thing, you know?"
In addition, Stephen and Albert Capone pleaded guilty in 1995 to bribing city inspectors to dump illegal fill at Fresh Kills. Both got three years' probation.
FBI-New York officials say they knew nothing of Capone's work in the Mafia graveyard. They said the FBI contractor who hired Capone has not yet billed them for the 21 days spent digging for bodies.
On Friday, Stephen Capone said in an interview,
In coming weeks, more mob connections are expected to surface in federal court, as turncoat Michael (Mikey Scars) Di-Leonardo, a Gambino capo at the heart of the mob's lock on the construction industry from the 1980s through 2002, takes the witness stand.
He'll join Frank Fappiano and Anthony Rotondo, two gangsters who testified for the prosecution two weeks ago, to say the Mafia made millions from many of New York's major contractors from the 1980s into 2000.
All three informants, for instance, have named as a big mob moneymaker Scara-Mix Inc., a Staten Island concrete company owned by the son of slain mob boss Paul Castellano. Scara-Mix worked on the Staten Island Yankees' stadium and helped pave the Gowanus Expressway.
In During the 1990s, Trataros Construction of Brooklyn won $717 million in contracts from city, state and federal governments, The News found.
At the same time, Trataros was secretly controlled by the Bonanno crime family, Fappiano testified last month.
Fappiano, a longtime Gambino soldier, charged that Trataros was "with" Bonanno consigliere Anthony Graziano in the mid-1990s, when the company was building a federal prison in Brooklyn.
He said Graziano took a $300,000 payoff from a Gambino-controlled concrete company to get work with Trataros, and that Fappiano demanded the Gambinos get a cut.
During the prison job, the Justice Department inspector general probed mob involvement there and found some evidence. Trataros, however, was not implicated.
U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials declined to comment or say how much Trataros made.
Records show Trataros won other federal contracts in the 1990s, including dozens of projects for the Army and Navy. One job involved building dorms at West Point.
Trataros also won millions in city contracts to renovate schools and other city buildings, and an additional $8.3 million in state contracts.
Trataros did not return calls seeking comment.
n Interstate Industrial of New Jersey, owned by Frank and Peter DiTommaso, has been kicking back a percentage to the mob since the 1980s, informers from two mob families alleged.
During that time, Interstate won at least $79.1 million in contracts from the city alone, records show.
Anthony Rotondo, a DeCavalcante turncoat, says the New Jersey family's boss, John Riggi, "put" the DiTommaso brothers with him in the 1980s.
Rotondo described a deal where the DeCavalcante and Colombo families both pocketed bribes to arrange nonunion help for Interstate.
"They were able to use nonunion workers, and they saved a lot of money," he said, adding that union workers "lost out on that one."
In 1988, when his powerful gangster father, Vincent, was murdered, Rotondo said he was brought to the Gambino family hangout, the Ravenite Social Club, and told "we lost the DiTommasos to the Gambinos."
In the mid-1990s, the mob capitalized on its relationship with Interstate when the Giuliani administration moved to close the massive Fresh Kills landfill. Interstate won contracts worth $73.3 million to cap the mound.
Interstate then hired subcontractors with mob ties, including Metropolitan Stone. When the city raised questions about Metropolitan's gangster owners, which included DiLeonardo, Interstate bought out the company.
The DiTommasos put down a deposit for Metropolitan and for the next five years, into 2000, paid off a promissory note held by the wives of DiLeonardo and fellow Gambino gangster Edward Garafola.
Although questions about the DiTommasos' mob connections have persisted for years, government agencies have dealt with them differently.
In 2001, the state Dormitory Authority decertified them. At that time, records show, Interstate continued to work on several city contracts, well into late 2002.
By January 2004, the city changed course and found Interstate ineligible to bid on a contract to install sewers on Staten Island. Just three months later, however, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission voted to let them work in Atlantic City.
Two weeks ago, the New Jersey state attorney general appealed that decision.
DiTommaso did not return calls seeking comment. His lawyer, Tom Durkin, declined to comment. firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the taxpayer-paid construction projects awarded to companies with alleged ties to the mob:
Fresh Kills Landfill $73.3M Interstate Industrial
Staten Island Yankees stadium Not available Scara-Mix, Inc.
Gowanus Expressway Not available Scara-Mix, Inc.
U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mahan Hall $8.6M Trataros Construction
Baruch College Academic Campus $27.2M Trataros Construction
College of Staten Island Laboratory Science Building $87.4M Trataros Construction
Westchester County Courthouse $12.3M Trataros Construction
Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn Not available Trataros Construction