NATIONAL NEWS

Reputed mobster gets four years in prison for extorting NYC labor union

Feb 28, 2024, 12:27 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A Mafia member was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in federal prison for his role in a long-running scheme in which he and others extorted funds from a New York City labor union, federal prosecutors said.

Vincent Ricciardo, a captain in Colombo crime family, was also ordered to pay $350,000 in forfeiture and $280,890 in restitution by a Brooklyn court judge.

Ricciardo, who is also known as “Vinny Unions,” pleaded guilty to racketeering last July for his participation in the labor union extortion as well as money laundering, loansharking, fraud and other mob schemes.

Lawyers for Ricciardo didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment Wednesday.

Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York, said in a statement that the sentence holds Ricciardo “accountable” for his participation in a wide range of Mafia crimes.

“This prosecution represents our continued commitment to combatting organized crime and prosecuting the individuals who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of hardworking union members and their employers,” he said.

The extortion scheme involved death threats, phony payments and other hallmarks of Mafia-type shakedowns seen in movies.

Prosecutors say it started in 2001, when Ricciardo started squeezing a senior official with a Queens-based construction union to fork over a portion of his salary.

Russo and other Colombo leaders then concocted a plan to force the union to make decisions beneficial to the crime family, including driving contracts to vendors associated with the family, prosecutors said.

In one recorded conversation, Ricciardo even threatened to kill the union official in front of his family if he didn’t comply.

“You laugh all you want pal, I’m not afraid to go to jail,” he said, according to prosecutors.

Ricciardo is the tenth defendant sentenced in connection with the union scheme, according to Peace’s office. Four others still await sentencing.

National News

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Reputed mobster gets four years in prison for extorting NYC labor union