A reputed mob affiliate pleaded guilty after prosecutors said the silent business partner at a construction firm siphoned off money meant for rebuilding the World Trade Center.
Vincent Vertuccio told a Brooklyn federal judge Wednesday he filed a false tax return to downplay his income and fiddled with documents meant for a grand jury. Now the businessman – who’s long been affiliated with the Bonanno crime family, according to prosecutors – is on the hook to pay about $1.46 million total to the Port Authority and IRS.
The 61-year-old Maspeth resident became the secret business partner of Crimson Construction Corporation, which specialized in masonry work. When a Crimson employee bid on work at the One World Trade Center project, Vertuccio told the employee to stay mum on his role at the firm.
The firm won a contract worth $11.4 million. After the company received a smaller chunk of money to get started, Vertuccio had about $700,000 moved to accounts linked to him, according to court papers. He used the money in part for construction work on his daughter’s place, the government said. Though money from Crimson bank accounts was being used for his expenses, Vertuccio didn’t report it as taxable income.
His hefty cut of the funds meant Crimson couldn’t pay its vendors or subcontractors.
A grand jury later issued a 2013 subpoena to a Manhattan jewelry store. The subpoena was looking for records on Vertuccio’s unreported income, some of which he spent on upscale jewelry.
The feds said Vertuccio plotted to change the jewelry store’s invoices and sales receipts before the store turned over the business records.
Vertuccio pleaded guilty to two of the counts against him before Judge Eric Vitaliano on Wednesday.
There’s no date for Vertuccio’s sentencing, but he could get up to 20 years for interfering with the grand jury’s work. He has to pay back at least $50,000 before sentencing under the deal.
Vertuccio and his attorney, James Froccaro, declined to speak with reporters.
Attorney John Servider is also accused as a co-conspirator in the alteration records meant for the grand jury. He’s scheduled for trial in June.