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Reputed New York City Colombo Family Crime Boss Among 14 Mobsters Snared In Labor Racketeering/Extortion Bust - Family Boss, Under Boss, Consigliere & Captains Among Those Defendants, Feds Say

Published Wednesday, September 15, 2021
by Jonathan Dienst & Courtney Copenhagen/NBCNewYork.com
Reputed New York City Colombo Family Crime Boss Among 14 Mobsters Snared In Labor Racketeering/Extortion Bust - Family Boss, Under Boss, Consigliere & Captains Among Those Defendants, Feds Say

(NEW YORK CITY) - A number of high-ranking Colombo Crime Family Members - including 87-year-old Street Boss Andrew "Mush" Russo, 83-year-old Under Boss Benjamin "Benji" Castellazzo and another 87-year-old Under Boss - were arrested early Tuesday (September 14th) by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and FBI in connection with a wide-ranging Labor racketeering and extortion fraud scheme, according to prosecutors.

The 19-count indictment unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court charges a total of 14 defendants, including 10 members and associates of the Colombo Crime Family, with multiple schemes in a long-running effort to allegedly infiltrate and take control of a Queens-based Construction Labor Union and its affiliated Health Care Benefit Program.

They are also accused of conspiring to commit fraud in connection with Workplace Safety Certifications.

Russo faces charges of racketeering, as does Castellazzo and Consigliere Ralph DiMatteo.

Alleged Colombo Crime Family Captains Theodore Perisco, Jr., Richard Ferrara and Vincent Ricciardo are charged with racketeering, along with Michael Uvino and associates Thomas Costa and Domenick Ricciardo.

According to the indictment, top Colombo Crime Family Members and alleged co-conspirators extorted the Labor Union Management by threatening bodily harm to force decisions that benefitted the Crime Family.

Since 2001, one of the captains and his cousin allegedly collected part of a senior Labor Union Official's Salary by threatening to harm both him and his family.

Beginning in late 2019, the defendants allegedly broadened the extortion effort to force that official and others at the Labor Union and its affiliated Health Fund to select vendors for contracts who were associated with the Colombo Family.

The defendants allegedly sought to divert more than $10,000 a month from the health fund's assets to the administration of the Colombo Family, prosecutors said.

Among other examples, prosecutors say as recently as June 21st, Ricciardo was recorded on the phone threatening to kill the Labor Union Official if he didn't comply.

The indictment says he explained that the Labor Official knows “I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids, right in front of his f-----g house, you laugh all you want pal, I’m not afraid to go to jail, let me tell you something, to prove a point?  I would f-----g shoot him right in front of his wife and kids, call the police, f--k it, let me go, how long you think I’m gonna last anyway?"

To Continue Reading This Labor News Story, Go To: www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/reputed-nyc-mob-boss-among-a-dozen-snared-in-fraud-corruption-bust-sources/3270937/

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