Organized Crime Still Infiltrating New York City Construction Industry

Michael Holt  |  June 12, 2023

Holt's Weekly

Organized Crime Still Infiltrating New York City Construction Industry

New York State Building and Construction Trades Council ex-president James Cahill (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty, NYSBCTC)
New York State Building and Construction Trades Council ex-president James Cahill (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty, NYSBCTC)

Organized crime has a long history of involvement in the construction industry in New York City. In recent years, however, there has been a shift in how organized crime operates in this sector. While they once had a strong presence in unions, they are now more likely to work with nonunion contractors.

This shift has made it more difficult for law enforcement to track organized crime activities in the construction industry. However, there have been a number of recent prosecutions that have shed light on how organized crime is still trying to infiltrate this sector.

In one case, the former head of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges. He admitted to taking more than $100,000 in payoffs to allow contractors to avoid hiring union labor.

In another case, a Manhattan construction company was indicted on charges of minority and women's business enterprise (MWBE) fraud. The company allegedly submitted false documents to the city in order to qualify for MWBE status, which gives businesses owned by minorities and women a preference in city contracting.

These cases show that organized crime is still trying to gain a foothold in the construction industry in New York City. However, law enforcement is working to crack down on these activities.


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