Co-owner of a New Jersey Based Trucking Company Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement Scheme
On March 8, 2013, Gerardo (Jerry) Fusella pled guilty in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn, New York, to conspiracy to embezzle monies that were due to workers' benefits/pension plans.
On December 21, 2011, brothers Vincent and Gerardo Fusella, co-owners and operators of Fusella Group LLC. (FUSELLA), a New Jersey-based trucking company, were indicted by a federal Grand Jury in New York, New York. The Fusellas were charged with conspiracy, mail/wire fraud, filing false tax returns, embezzlement of union benefit funds, and false statements on projects receiving Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant funds.
It was alleged that between approximately 2007 and 2009, the Fusellas engaged in a series of fraud schemes in connection with its subcontract work on the Port Authority New York New Jersey (PANYNJ) World Trade Center Transportation Hub project (WTC Hub Project). The Fusellas operated a company, Alpine Investment Group, and were alleged to have underreported the number of hours their employees trucked; hide driver's hours from the union; and failed to collect and pay to the IRS certain payroll taxes. The Fusellas were also alleged to have submitted false certified payrolls to the PANYNJ stating that they were paying the prevailing wage and fringe benefits to employees as required by the Davis Bacon Act.
The plea agreement requires Fusella to forfeit $970,755 to the government.
The FTA has committed in excess of $2.2 billion on the WTC Hub project.
We are investigating this case jointly with the U.S. Department of Labor, OIG.