Infernal Racket

The Mafia Doesn’t Just Break Legs. It Can Also Break the Spirit.

Richards had claimed to be using union labor at the Park Central job, but instead enlisted a crew of minorities and other workers paid far below union scale. A carpenters' union business agent named Martin Devereaux allegedly told other union officials that he couldn't enforce the contract because Richards's company was "a gangster type." But Richards later said his protection from the union was really purchased with a $50,000 bribe to Devereaux and his boss, Carpenters District Council president Michael Forde.

Forde and Devereaux have both adamantly denied the charges. "There is no credible evidence that any money went to Mike Forde," said Forde's attorney, Dino Lombardi. "It is a very easy thing for a guy like Sean Richards to put a union guy in the soup." Like Heifetz, the union officials have insisted on having their long-delayed day in court.

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