Engineering News-Record


Six Guilty In Laborers' Trial

July 1, 1982

A jury last week convicted four laborers' union officials of conspiring to receive more than $2 million in kickbacks in exchange for steering union health, welfare and life insurance business to a Florida company. It is still deliberating the fate of international union President Angelo Fosco and two other officials.

Fosco and 10 codefendants went on trial in the federal district court in Miami on April 12. The case comes at a time when the Reagan administration and Congress are showing renewed interest in pursuing labor-related crimes and are threatening new offensives.

After a two-month trial and 10 days of deliberation, the jury returned six guilty verdicts and acquitted two other defendants. Those found not to be involved in the conspiracy were former Al Capone bodyguard and reputed Chicago mobster Anthony "Big Tuna" Accardo, and Terrence O'Sullivan of Washington, D.C., former secretary-treasurer of the international union.

The six convicted on a single conspiracy charge are:

* Bernard Rubin of Miami Beach, a former local union officer currently serving 10 years in prison for embezzling union funds.

* Seymour Gopman of North Miami, former counsel to the South Florida Laborers District Council.

* Alfred Pilotto, president of laborers' Local 5 in Chicago and trustee for several union trust funds.

* James Caporale, secretary-treasurer of Local 5 and also a fund trustee.

* George Wuagneux, a former Florida developer serving a 16-year prison term for racketeering and filing a false statement.

* Louis Ostrer, a former officer of a New York City firm that administered a union welfare program who is serving a prison term for tax fraud.

The convictions carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.


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