Six Plead Guilty in Wide-Ranging Construction Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 20, 2011|
NEWARK, NJ—A New Jersey couple and four New York men have pleaded guilty to a wide range of fraud and other offenses stemming from their involvement in a Jersey City, N.J., construction project between 2007 and 2008, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Pasquale Zinna, 43, and his wife, Janeen Zinna, 43, both of Hackettstown, N.J., both pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court. Pasquale Zinna pleaded guilty to two counts of an indictment charging him with Social Security disability fraud and structuring financial transactions. Janeen Zinna pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging her with misprision of her husband’s Social Security fraud.
Rocco Mazzaferro, 64, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Vincenzo Genovese, 75, of Staten Island, N.Y., pleaded guilty Nov. 22, 2011, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Vincenzo Genovese also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle pension benefits.
Anselmo Genovese, 44, of Staten Island, N.Y., pleaded guilty Dec. 16, 2011, to two counts of making unlawful labor payments.
Eric Haynberg, 45, of New York, pleaded guilty Dec. 16, 2011, to a superseding information charging him with misprision of the wire fraud committed by Mazzaferro and Vincenzo Genovese.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Pasquale Zinna was the project superintendent for 160 Broadway Concrete, a sub-contractor at the high-rise construction project at 77 Hudson Street in Jersey City. Pasquale Zinna failed to report his return to work to Social Security and further concealed his employment at Broadway Concrete by having his paychecks issued to him in the names of other individuals, including his wife. Janeen Zinna admitted she filed a joint federal income tax return with her husband for the calendar year 2007 which incorrectly claimed that the income received from Broadway Concrete was for work performed by her rather than her husband. Pasquale Zinna has agreed that restitution of $101,753 is owed to the Social Security Administration.
Pasquale Zinna also admitted to making a series of cash withdrawals from his joint checking account with his wife at Commerce Bank, now T.D. Bank, in order to avoid the bank’s reporting requirement for financial transactions in excess of $10,000. Pasquale Zinna has agreed to forfeit the $98,000 involved in these illegal financial transactions.
Mazzaferro and Vincenzo Genovese conspired to have Vincenzo Genovese work under Mazzaferro’s name at the 77 Hudson Street project. Mazzaferro received more than $78,000 in salary and medical and vacation benefits to which he was not entitled from this no-show job. Vincenzo Genovese masked the fact that he was employed as a mason by working under Mazzaferro’s name to allow himself to continue to receive more than $9,200 in pension benefits from Local 780 Benefit Funds. Mazzaferro and Vincenzo Genovese have agreed that $87,000 in restitution is owed to Broadway Concrete and to the Benefit Funds. Haynberg, the timekeeper at 77 Hudson Street, concealed the fraud by including hours for Rocco Mazzaferro on his weekly timekeeper reports knowing that Mazzaferro was not working at the construction project.
Anselmo Genovese, the project manager for Broadway Concrete at 77 Hudson Street made two separate unlawful payments of $4,000 each in 2007 to then-business manager of Laborers International Union of North America Local 325. Local 325 was subject to a collective bargaining agreement with Broadway Concrete regarding 77 Hudson Street. The payments allowed Broadway Concrete to circumvent provisions of the collective bargaining agreement regarding the hiring of non-Local 325 members and the crediting of benefit payments.
The sentencings of Mazzaferro and Vincenzo Genovese are scheduled for Feb. 28, 2012, and for Eric Haynberg and Anselmo Genovese on April 11, 2012. Sentencings for the Zinnas are scheduled for April 3, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Panella for the New York Region, for the investigation leading to the arrests and charges. He also thanked the IRS, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessof; the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Edward J. Ryan, New York Field Division, for their work on this case, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, for its assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leslie F. Schwartz and Christine Magdo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
- Pasquale Zinna: Maurice Sercarz Esq., New York
- Janeen Zinna: David Breitbart Esq., New York
- Eric Haynberg: Eric Franz Esq., New York
- Rocco Mazzaferro: Michael Rosen Esq., New York
- Vincenzo Genovese: Jeffrey Rosen and Susan Wolfe Esqs., New York
- Anselmo Genovese: Gerald Shargel and Evan Lipton Esqs., New York