Construction Company Owner and Associates Arrested for Violent Retaliation Against Plaintiffs in Federal Labor Lawsuit
Victim Burned With Acid
A criminal complaint was unsealed this morning in Brooklyn federal court charging JOZEF WOLOSZ, ROBERT DZIEDZIACH, DARIUSZ LAPINSKI, RAFAL KREDENS, and MACIEJ ROPELEWSKI with conspiring to obstruct a federal civil class action lawsuit against WOLOSZ, his company Keystone Renovations Corp., and others for failing to pay prevailing wages to the plaintiffs. The criminal complaint also charges the defendants with conspiring to retaliate against the plaintiffs and their attorney.1 WOLOSZ, DZIEDZIACH, KREDENS, and ROPELEWSKI were arrested yesterday, and their initial appearance is scheduled for this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go at the United States Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. LAPINSKI’s initial appearance has not yet been scheduled.
The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Division.
As set forth in the criminal complaint and in a detention letter filed today, in 2005 various carpenters, masons, and laborers working for Keystone Renovations Corp. at construction projects in the New York City area filed a civil class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. That civil lawsuit alleged that after paying employees the required prevailing wages, WOLOSZ and others forced the employees to return part of the wages in cash, in violation of federal and state labor laws.
As described in the criminal complaint and detention letter, the defendants allegedly conspired to commit acts of violence after the civil lawsuit was filed to retaliate against the plaintiffs and to intimidate them into dropping or settling the civil case. In 2006, for example, WOLOSZ, DZIEDZIACH, and others paid LAPINSKI $15,000 to have acid thrown on the female companion of one of the civil plaintiffs. The victim suffered first and second degree burns. Later, WOLOSZ, DZIEDZIACH, KREDENS, and ROPELEWSKI agreed to pay another person $25,000 per victim to severely beat each of the plaintiffs. After settlement of the civil lawsuit in July 2008, the defendants continued to plan attacks on the plaintiffs and plotted to assault the plaintiffs’ attorney.
During the investigation, the FBI used a variety of law enforcement techniques, including using a cooperating witness to record conversations with a number of the defendants. In one recorded conversation last month, WOLOSZ stated that “[t]hose people who ****ing did this to me, I will ****ing get them, one by one.”
“There is no place for violence and vigilantism in our justice system,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. “In attacking an innocent woman and conspiring to assault the plaintiffs, the defendants undermined the guiding principle of our civil courts – the peaceful resolution of disputes.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Mershon stated, “Construction workers who were intimidated by their employer into forfeiting their hard-earned wages resorted to the legal system for redress. For that, these workers were targeted for violent retribution. Attempts like this to prevent people from exercising their rights are an affront to the rule of law, and will not be tolerated.”
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cristina M. Posa.
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