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News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Office of the Inspector General

OIG Press Release: Members of Three Organized Crime Families Indicted on Racketeering and Extortion Charges in Garment Industry [04/28/1998]

For more information call: (212) 337-2550

Charles C. Masten, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Labor, today announced the unsealing of two indictments in Manhattan federal court charging Joseph Defede, the acting boss of the Luchese Organized Crime Family, and 11 others with racketeering and extortion in the New York Garment industry.

Among those indicted were members and associates of the Luchese, Gambino and Genovese Organized Crime Families.

The indictment charges nine separate acts of racketeering spanning from 1991 to 1996 on behalf of the Luchese Family through the extortion of legitimate Garment Center businesses. It further alleges that Defede, as acting boss of the Luchese Family, supervised the family's criminal activities, including the monthly extortion of Garment Center businesses.

In a separate indictment, five members and associates of the Gambino and the Genovese Organized Crime Families are charged in connection with the extortion of the operators of a Garment Center corporation and its affiliated companies.

Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, said, "Workers and employers in the garment industry must be protected from criminals who interfere with their ability to earn an honest living. The actions announced today by the U.S. Attorney in New York go a long way to meet this goal."

At the press conference in New York, Masten stated, "This indictment should send a clear and compelling message to those organized crime elements who would seek to corrupt segments of this industry. My office is committed to continue this effort to ensure that the safety of workers, unions, and manufacturers is unimpeded by the corrupt influence of organized crime."

The investigation was conducted jointly by the Division of Labor Racketeering of the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Office of Inspector General
April 28, 1998
Media Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number