NY Contractor Pleads Guilty to World Trade Center Fraud

April 13, 2017

Vincent 'Vinny' Vertuccio admitted Wednesday to United States District Judge Eric Vitaliano in a New York courtroom to filing fraudulent tax returns, money laundering, and obstructing an investigation into a scheme to defraud the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in connection with the $11.4 million rebuilding or 1 World Trade Center.

According to the April 2015 indictment brought by a federal grand jury sitting in Brooklyn, Vertuccio controlled and directed the activities of Crimson Construction Corporation where he directed an employee of Crimson not to disclose Vertuccio’s role in Crimson because of his ties to organized crime. Reports indicate Vertuccio has had longstanding relationships with past Bonanno family bosses, including Joseph "Big Joey" Massino, Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, and boss Michael "Mikey Nose" Mancuso.

After being awarded the World Trade Center contract, worth $11.4 million, Crimson received more than $1.5 million in connection with the 1WTC project, of which significant sums were diverted into a bank account held by Vertuccio’s mother and used to pay for renovations to Vertuccio’s daughter’s house. As a result, Crimson was unable to meet its obligations at 1WTC and was terminated from the project. Vertuccio, with the assistance of his accountant Praful Pandya, also submitted false and fraudulent individual tax returns for tax years 2008 and 2011.

After Vertuccio became aware of an ongoing grand jury investigation into his conduct, he and his lawyer, John Servider, allegedly conspired to alter invoices and sales receipts issued by a Manhattan jewelry store so as to remove Vertuccio’s name from the records before they were returned to the grand jury.

Vertuccio also plead guilty to hiding income in the form of expensive jewelry on his 2011 tax return. He has agreed to pay the New York Port Authority $1,089,771 in restitution and $374,057 to the Internal Revenue Service, and faces 20 years in prison although sources say the plea deal could earn him just 37 months in prison. John Servider faces obstruction charges and his trial is expected to begin on June 12.

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