By David Amoruso
Prosecutors charged alleged Bonanno crime family associate Vincent Vertuccio with conspiracy to defraud the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in connection with the One World Trade Center project located in lower Manhattan. He was also hit with money laundering and tax crimes.
Vertuccio from Maspeth, Queens, controlled and directed the activities of Crimson Construction Corporation (Crimson), a company that was awarded a contract for work at the One World Trade Center project in lower Manhattan worth approximately $11.4 million. In seeking the contract, Vertuccio directed an employee of Crimson not to disclose Vertuccio’s role in Crimson because of his ties to organized crime.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Mace told The New York Daily News that 60-year-old Vertuccio, “has longstanding affiliations with former Bonanno bosses Joseph Massino, Vincent ‘Vinny Gorgeous’ Basciano, and current boss Michael ‘Mikey Nose’ Mancuso.”
After being awarded the contract, Crimson received more than $1.5 million in connection with the One World Trade Center project, of which, authorities allege, significant sums were diverted into a bank account held by Vertuccio’s mother and used to pay for renovations to Vertuccio’s daughter’s house. As a result, Crimson was unable to meet its obligations at One World Trade Center and was terminated from the project. Vertuccio, with the assistance of his accountant Praful Pandya, also is alleged to have submitted false and fraudulent individual tax returns for tax years 2008 and 2011.
Prosecutors claim that after Vertuccio became aware of an ongoing grand jury investigation into his conduct, he and his lawyer, John Servider, conspired to alter invoices and sales receipts issued by a Manhattan jewelry store so as to remove the alleged mob associate’s name from the records before they were returned to the grand jury.
“Today serves as an unfortunate reminder that as alleged in the indictment, organized crime continues to plague the region’s construction industry. Accordingly, we remain vigilant in protecting Port Authority projects and programs from fraudsters who line their pockets at the expense of law-abiding citizens,” stated Michael Nestor, Inspector General of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
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