FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. – A former union officer from Local 592 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America admitted today that he took a bribe from a contractor, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Patrick Viola, 45, of Edgewater, N.J., the former business manager and an employee of Local 592 of LIUNA, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an Information charging him with unlawfully receiving a prohibited labor payment. Viola was arrested on Nov. 22, 2011, and charged by criminal Complaint in connection with his receipt of a payoff.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Jan. 25, 2010, Viola, while business manager of Local 592, met with a witness who was cooperating with the government (CW1), and who was a representative of a construction company in New Jersey. The company employed laborers at various construction projects in New Jersey. During a consensual audio and video recorded meeting, the witness said the company was about to start a construction project in Bergen County. Viola said, “Yeah, well you do what you gotta do as far as I’m concerned. You going in there [the construction project], do it non-union, you do it non-union, that’s the end of it.” The witness then said, “I’ll do that one [the payment of the bribe to allow the company to use non-union labor at the upcoming construction project] in advance because I really can’t afford to have any kinds of problems.”
During the meeting, the witness paid Viola approximately $4,000 in cash to permit the company to use non-union labor at the upcoming construction project. During this same recorded conversation, Viola said he had made a deal with another contractor who failed to pay the entire amount of the bribe.
Under the count to which he pleaded guilty, Viola faces maximum potential prison term of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; special agents of the U.S. 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 U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, under the direction of Regional Administrator Jonathan Kay.
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: John D. Arseneault Esq., Chatham, N.J.