Volume 22, Number 22 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 9 - 15, 2009
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau recently secured the indictment of 29 people, including six former Department of Buildings inspectors, for bribery, bribe receiving and enterprise corruption associated with the Lucchese crime family.
Lower Manhattan, Chelsea and Greenwich Village building sites for which bribes were paid included 110 Fulton St., 75 Wall St., 80-82 University Place, 414 W. 14th St., 11 W. 25th St., 565 W. 23rd St. and 1 E. 35th St., according to the indictment.
Three of the former D.O.B. inspectors — Frank Francomano, Carmine Francomano, Jr., and Thomas Masucci — were associates of the Lucchese crime family, the indictment says. They took bribes from builders and property owners, and also extorted money from a victim, the charges say.
The other three former D.O.B. inspectors — Earl Prentice, inspection manager in the Bronx; Angel Luis Aviles, supervising inspector in Manhattan; and Excel Plass, inspector in the department scaffolding safety unit — were charged with taking bribes from construction and real estate officials, the charges say.
Construction and real estate officials and companies charged with bribing the D.O.B. defendants include Richard Kelly, an associate of a few owners and contractors; Constel Mirauti, a contractor and owner of Abano Building Maintenance, Inc.; Steven Goworek, a contractor; Wayne Schumer, owner of Ucon Corp.; Leo Doyle, owner of Euro Excavation, Inc.; Michael Leon, a real estate company employee; and Nicolett Moskower, a registered D.O.B. expediter
The indictment charged that the Lucchese family defendants associated with D.O.B. and others were also involved in extortion, narcotics, gun trafficking and illegal gambling.
Southbridge Towers resident Anthony Croce, 76, was one of the 29 indicted. Prosecutors say he is part of the Lucchese crime family.
A man who works Downtown was using the bathroom in the building on the northeast corner of Fulton and Church Sts. at 3 p.m. Wed., Sept. 16 when a robber grabbed him from behind and said, “What do you have? Give it to me.” police said. The thief, described as a black man about 5’8” and weighing about 200 pounds, took $38 from the victim and fled.
— Albert Amateau