Friday, August 7, 2009

Pocono Residents Named in NYC Union Corruption Indictment

NEW YORK – Two men who reside in the Poconos are named in an a federal indictment charging the head of the Carpenters Union District Council, seven union officials and two others with corruption.

Michael Brennan, 53, of Bushkill and Joseph Ruocco, 49, of East Stroudsburg, are shop stewards of Local 608. Brennan was among several arrested Wednesday. Ruocco remains at large.

They and the others are accused of unlawfully receiving money, loans, or other things of value from contractors, in a total amount of approximately one million dollars. In exchange for the bribes, the defendants allowed and helped certain contractors to defraud the union and its benefit funds out of millions of dollars by permitting the contractors to, among other things, pay union members cash at below-union rates, without benefits; employ illegal aliens and non-union workers on their job sites; and avoid payment to the union benefit funds in violation of applicable CBAs.

Not all of the defendants are named in all of the charges, but Brennan and Ruocco both face 20 years in prison if convicted of some of the crimes they are accused of committing.

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