Trucking Firm Owner Admits To Conspiracy

Posted: October 02, 1990

A New Jersey trucking company owner yesterday pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay off officials of a Teamsters Union local dominated by organized crime, in what federal officials said was a classic case of labor racketeering.

Francis J. Walsh, 43, of Saddle River, N.J., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Joseph Rodriguez in Camden. Two other defendants also entered guilty pleas. A fourth is awaiting trial.

The charges against Walsh, head of Walsh Trucking & Consolidating Co. Inc. of Edison, N.J., originally were contained in a two-count federal indictment returned in March 1988.

The indictment charged that beginning in 1977, Walsh and others in his company engaged in a "labor-peace payoff scheme" with officials of Teamsters Local 560, a union then dominated by Genovese organized-crime family leader Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano.

Provenzano, who died in a federal prison in December 1988, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case, as were his brothers, Salvatore and Nunzio. The Provenzanos were all former officials of Local 560.

The case revolved around what the government charged was a series of monthly payments from $1,200 to $3,000 paid from 1977 through 1986 by Walsh or other company representatives to officials of Local 560 or their designees. In exchange for those payments, the indictment charged, Walsh Trucking was able to implement "an inferior collective-bargaining agreement" with warehouse workers who were members of Local 560.

Pleading guilty along with Walsh yesterday were Stephen Andretta, 54, and Carmine R. Zeccardi, 45. Andretta, of Paramus, N.J., a former Local 560 business agent, worked for Walsh Trucking between 1983 and 1985. Zeccardi, of Fort Lee, N.J., was a vice president of the trucking company.

Andretta pleaded guilty to conspir-acy. Zeccardi pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting the payment of money to a union official to influence his actions. A fourth defendant, reputed Genovese crime family soldier James Ida of Staten Island, N.Y., is awaiting trial.

Rodriguez set Ida's trial date for Dec. 3 and delayed sentencing of the other three until after the trial. Each of the three faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Walsh also pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud that were part of an unrelated indictment. That case involved falsifying loan application information to obtain nearly $3 million in loans from two lending institutions.

The labor-racketeering case was expected to include information gathered in both New Jersey and New York by federal authorities who have long been investigating the Genovese family, the largest and most powerful mob organization in America, according to most federal investigators.

According to pretrial documents filed by the government, the case was to include electronic surveillance tapes of the Palma Boys Social Club in Lower Manhattan that authorities say is the headquarters of Genovese crime family boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante.

In addition, Vincent "Fish" Cafaro, a former Genovese family soldier who is now cooperating with the government, was expected to be a government witness in the case. Cafaro was indicted with Walsh and the others but was dropped as a defendant after he became a government witness.

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