After a two year investigation, the Manhattan DA has indicted 29 people accused of connections with the Lucchese crime family, and six of them worked as inspectors for the city Department of Buildings. Asked how the mobsters were able to rise to the level of supervisory positions in the department, DA Robert Morgenthau told reporters, "I’ll leave that for you to figure out...They had developed a small beachfront into this agency... This two-year joint investigation reminds us that the threat of traditional organized crime is not a thing of the past."
Investigators spent years conducting phone taps and executing 54 search warrants related to the case, which alleges Lucchese family involvement in gambling rings, trafficked firearms, and pocketing tens of thousands of dollars at a time in bribes through the Department of Buildings. Some of the indicted buildings inspectors had worked for the department for decades, but Department of Investigation officials insist that all the "bribe-tainted" residences, businesses and construction sites have been re-inspected and are safe. According to City Room, 19 people were indicted on federal felony charges, and nine of the defendants are accused of trying to bribe an NYPD sergeant and a detective.
Also charged is the owner of a Queens-based scaffolding business, whom prosecutors say bribed building inspectors. Investigators began to uncover the whole mob web when listening in on the phones of an alleged Lucchese-run, Internet-based sports gambling ring that authorities believe has netted $400 million for the crime family. According to the Post, investigators have seized drugs, firearms, $430,000 in cash and boxes of gambling records. All things considered, not a good day for the family, the Buildings Department, or anyone walking under a scaffolding.