A powerful United Food & Commercial Workers local union (348s) in New York was closed for business on Thursday as police arrested three family members who run the union local.
Police arrested the president, former president, and treasurer of Local 348 United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) on Thursday. Anthony Fazio Sr., John Fazio Jr., and Anthony Fazio Jr. were charged with racketeering, extortion, money laundering, and witness tampering.
The Fazios used their positions in the union to extort money from employers unionized by the UFCW. They stole more than $2.4 million from union members and employers over the course of 16 years, according to the indictment.
According to Courthouse News Service:
The indictment accuses the Fazios of “extorting, soliciting and obtaining cash payments, in violation of federal and state labor law, from business owners who employees were represented by Local 348,” to enrich themselves and others.
It claims the Fazios conspired to extort, and did extort, and laundered the extortion money, embezzled from pension and welfare benefit funds and tampered with witnesses.
It claims that they took more than $1,000 at a pop from multiple employers, extorting them “by instilling … fear” that the Fazios and others would harm their businesses unless they paid it.
The grand jury indictment, whose foreperson’s name is blacked out, seeks forfeiture of assets and other penalties.
In addition to the what the accused are alleged to have made through their “unofficial” union duties, according to financial reports on file with the US Department of Labor, the Fazio family did pretty well for themselves in their official capacities. According to the local’s reports, in what appears to be a game of musical chairs (and double dipping) in 2010, the Fazio family paid themselves as follows:
- Anthony Fazio, Jr., the local’s new president was paid $172,257 in total compensation
- Anthony Fazio, Sr., the local’s past president was paid $149,772 in total compensation
- John Fazio, Jr. the local’s new secretary-treasurer was paid $168,712 in total compensation
- Anthony Fazio, Jr., the local’s past secretary-treasurer was paid $86,129 in total compensation
- John Fazio, Jr., the local’s past vice president was paid $84,357 in total compensation
Note: The above compensation was listed as having been paid out in 2010.
Other Compensation: In addition to the above, John Fazio, Sr, also was paid as a trustee of the union’s health and welfare fund. In 2009, Fazio, Sr. was paid $65,000. It is unknown how much he was paid in 2010.
Here is a copy of the indictment:
Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com