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Carpenters Union Bribee Tagliaferro Wants Probation While US Asks 60+ Month Sept 8

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, September 2–  Charged with demanding bribes to join the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Salvatore Tagliaferro has begun trial before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Crotty.

  On April 21 Inner City Press up in the courtroom published: "day ended as witness described planning with Tagliaferro, in Brooklyn, to charge $600 fees "into our pockets... Our motive? To make some money." 2 big guys laugh."

   On April 28: "TAGLIAFERRO, the president of Local 926 chapter of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (the “Union”), was found guilty today in Manhattan federal court of honest services wire fraud, conversion of union assets, and conspiracy, in connection with his involvement in a scheme to solicit cash bribes from hundreds of prospective members in exchange for union membership.  The jury convicted TAGLIAFERRO today following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty.  TAGLIAFERRO is scheduled to appear for sentencing before Judge Crotty."

 It was pushed to September 8, and now on September 2 Tagiaferro in a heavily redacted letter has asked for... probation, no jail time. The US Attorney's Office wants at least 60 months. Watch this site.

Back on July 7, Tagliaferro's lawyer asked for a delay of two months, for the "development of mitigating factors." The US Attorney's Office immediately opposed the request, mocking this very phrase.

On July 8 Judge Crotty granted a one month delay, but said it would be the last one: "The Court will allow one thirty day adjournment to September 8, 2021 at 12 noon. There will be no further adjournments. SO ORDERED. (Sentencing set for 9/8/2021 at 12:00 PM before Judge Paul A. Crotty) (Signed by Judge Paul A. Crotty on 7/8/2021)." Watch this site.

Back on April 26, after the government's closing, Tagliaferro's lawyer Susan Kellman noted that the jury consists of "11 women and a black man," and that women's weren't allowed on juries until 1957. Then she tore into cooperating witness John DeFalco, quoting him about his home as big as a school - with a dock, no less.

   She portrayed Tagliaferro as increasingly powerless, 200 of his members taken, and DeFalco as the one selling union books. He was in Puerto Rico, she said, "not dropping paper towels from helicopters" but volunteering. Tagliaferro nodded to five family members / supporters in the front row.

  There was talk of a leak in SDNY - we'll have more on this.

Back on March 30, Judge Crotty ruled on various motions in limine: "OPINION & ORDER as to Salvatore Tagliaferro. The Court DENIES the Government's motion in limine to introduce the Defendant's 1997 conviction as impeachment evidence against the Defendant or any character witnesses, should they elect to testify at trial. The 1997 conviction is inadmissible for all purposes. The Court GRANTS the Government's motion in limine to introduce the two kickback schemes as subjects of cross-examination against character witnesses. The Court DENIES Tagliaferro's cross-motion to exclude evidence about the Contracting Kickback in the Government's case-in-chief. The Court DEFERS judgment on the Government's motion in limine to preclude or otherwise limit testimony regarding the Defendant's prior activities as a confidential informant."

Now on March 31, this: "SEALING ORDER as to Salvatore Tagliaferro. This order GRANTS the parties' request to file the following material under seal: the Government's supplemental motion in limine ("SML"), Tagliaferro's response (Def.'s Resp. dated Mar. 25, 2021), and the Government's reply (Gov't's Reply dated Mar. 28, 2021) (collectively, "the Briefing"), along with Tagliaferro's ex parte letter dated March 25, 2021 (the "Ex Parte Letter"). The Court has weighed the presumption of public access to these judicial documents against the risk that public disclosure would present a significant risk to (1) Tagliaferro's safety, (2) the safety of a potential defense witness, and (3) law enforcement efforts."

  Inner City Press will be pushing that this in-person trial also be open to the press and public by phone, given COVID. It is not either / or. Watch this site.

This case is USA v. Tagliaferro, et al., 19-cr-472 (Crotty)


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