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Union leaders of New York City carpentry union charged with fraud

Want to be a member of the New York carpenters union? Pay me first. That was the route Salvatore Tagliaferro, the president of Local 926, a Brooklyn-based union tied to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners in America and John “Cigars” Defalco, the vice president of local 127 in Manhattan, tied to the same union, chose to follow. Beginning their antics in 2017, the two men were accused of demanding bribes from interested members.

Authorities stated to the New York Daily News, the leader was Defalco. He would target potential members and solicit bribes from them – often up to $1,500. Once Defalco had obtained the bribe money, he would transfer the prospective members names to Tagliaferro, who used his position to his advantage. Tagliaferro would accept hundreds of these individuals into the local 926 chapter and secure union cards for them. The silver lining for these workers? When accepted into the union, many of them weren’t in position for membership.

The cover-up and proceeding charges

Both Defalco and Tagliaferro tried to cover up their crimes. For Defalco, his efforts didn’t obtain the result he would had hoped. Authorities discovered $150,000 in Ziploc bags in the attic of his vacation home while performing a search warrant.

The two men have been charged with wire fraud, conspiracy and conversion of union assets. Both union leaders face up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charge alone. Speaking to the New York daily news, attorneys for both defendants have denied the charges.

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