FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – Federal agents from the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, today arrested an officer of a New Jersey labor union on a criminal Complaint alleging he unlawfully took bribes, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Peter A. Lomauro, 42, of Monroe, N.J., was arrested this morning and is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Shipp in Newark federal court.
According to the criminal Complaint:
Lomauro is a business agent and employee of Local 9, Plumbers and Pipefitters, headquartered in Englishtown, N.J. He is alleged to have demanded and received payments from two plumbing company contractors as follows:
Cooperating Witness One
In 2006, according to the owner of a plumbing company (Company One) headquartered in Passaic County, N.J., who is cooperating witness (CW1) for federal law enforcement, Local 9 conducted an audit of Company One and determined it owed approximately $12,000 in unpaid fringe benefits to Local 9 benefits funds. CW1 said Lomauro approached him at a work site in Middlesex County, N.J., stating his uncle, an individual with the initials “A.C.,” was sick and that Local 9 was raising money to help him. CW1 said Lomauro stated he would make Company One’s union trouble “disappear” if he paid A.C. $6,000. CW1 said A.C. never performed any work or services for him or his company.
On Oct. 31, 2006, Cooperating Witness One issued a check, drawn on a bank account of Company One, to A.C. in the amount of $6,000 and said Lomauro stated this check would be deposited into a union trust fund and be used as a gift for A.C. The investigation, however, revealed the check was deposited into a bank account controlled by Lomauro and A.C. (the “A.C./Lomauro Account”).
Cooperating Witness Two
On February 2010, according to the owner of a plumbing company (Company Two) headquartered in Middlesex County, who is cooperating witness for federal law enforcement (CW2), Lomauro requested CW2 hire a retired Local 9 plumber to work at construction project. At this project, Company Two was subject to project labor agreement (“PLA”), requiring the company to pay certain wages and make contributions into the Local 9 benefits funds on behalf of the company’s plumbers.
According to CW2, Lomauro instructed him not to pay into the Local 9 benefits funds on behalf of the retired plumber, as required by the PLA, but instead periodically remit payments to A.C. CW2 issued four checks totaling $7,000 between Feb. 18, 2010, and July 28, 2011. Each check was deposited into the A.C./Lomauro Account.
Around July 28, 2011, according to CW2, Lomauro called and requested another check. CW2 asked if he could leave the check in Company Two’s mailbox the following day. Federal agents conducting surveillance near Company Two the next day observed and video recorded Lomauro retrieving a white envelope from Company Two’s mailbox. This check was deposited into the A.C./Lomauro Account the same day.
The Complaint charges Lomauro with four counts of unlawfully demanding and receiving money from an employer and a person acting in the interest of employer. The charges carry a maximum term prison term of five years and a fine of $250,000 per count.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Panella, and investigators of the United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, under the direction of Regional Administrator Jonathan Kay.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Moscato of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Donald McCauley Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark N.J.