Sunday, August 9, 2009

Local 157 Business Agent Named as Unindicted Co-Conspirator

According to the 29-count bribery and racketeering indictment a Local 157 business agent accepted cash payments from Contractor No. 1 who sources say is contractor James Murray owner of On-Par.

Murray went on the lam in Ireland after he was indicted on federal fraud and embezzlement charges in 2006.

Sources said he has returned and is believed to be helping the feds prosecute Carpenters boss Michael Forde.

Court records show he was freed on $8 million bond in November and began plea bargain negotiations with Assistant Manhattan U.S. Attorney Lisa Zornberg, who is prosecuting Forde.

Prosecutors refused to say if Murray is cooperating.

Prosecutors also would not confirm that On Par is one of six unnamed companies that paid bribes to Forde and his cohorts.

It appears Murray may be Contractor No. 1, the unindicted co-conspirator with the deepest involvement in the bribery scheme.

Contractor No. 1 is identified in the indictment as a major drywall company, as was On Par.

Among the numerous accusations linked to Contractor No. 1 is skulduggery at 63 Wall St., where On Par was a key player and Carpenters Local 157 had jurisdiction.

According to page 45 of the 29-count bribery and racketeering indictment, in or about 2003 Contractor No. 1 made cash payments to a unindicted co-conspirator who was a business agent at Local 157.

Sources believe the unindicted co-conspirator business agent maybe cooperating with the feds in prosecuting Forde.

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