Date: May 8, 2008
Source: U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut
There has been yet another guilty plea in the ongoing federal probe of pricing fixing in western Connecticut and eastern New York. This time, a former top salesman for Automated Waste Disposal, the company at the center of the investigation, named Richard Galietti admitted that he asked his state trooper cousin to check the ownership of cars thought to be federal surveillance vehicles. According to the indictment, Galante, Galietti and their co-defendants are accused of conspiring to set up a "property rights system" under which carters divide customers and agree not to compete in order to artificially inflate prices.
A year ago, Galante and his employees made news when former state Senate Minority Leader Louis C. DeLuca admitted asking the trash executive to have someone rough up his granddaughter's husband.
Galietti is accused of helping to set up the system and enforce compliance by reluctant participants through the use of threats and violence. Sources familiar with the case said he promised to "gouge" out the eyes of a rival hauler during a drunken telephone conversation.
FORMER EMPLOYEE OF DANBURY TRASH COMPANIES ADMITS INVOLVEMENT IN RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY
Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RICHARD GALIETTI, 35, of Fort Myers, Florida, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to one count of conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and one count of making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer.
According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, GALIETTI, a former lead salesman at Automated Waste Disposal (AWD) and affiliated companies based in Danbury, conspired with other carting companies to perpetuate the "property rights system." Carters engaged in the property rights system would not service or compete for other carters' customers. The property rights system essentially destroys free enterprise, allowing the participating carters to artificially inflate their prices and leaving waste removal customers with no other options. In this scheme, which was directed at commercial and municipal customers, participating carters agreed to quote inflated prices to customers controlled by other carters. GALIETTI and others participated in the affairs of the enterprise by agreeing to respect the unwritten rules of the property rights system. At times, GALIETTI helped to enforce this system through extortion and threats.
In pleading guilty, GALIETTI admitted that from approximately June 2004 to August 2005, he agreed with others to improperly control the trash hauling industry in Connecticut by having participating carters respect a fellow carter's claim to a customer, either by not competing for that customer or, when solicited by the customer, declining to pursue the opportunity or collusively bidding at a prearranged price designated to lose the contract.
GALIETTI also admitted that he asked his cousin, who was Connecticut State Police Trooper, to run license plate information through a law enforcement database in order to determine whether GALIETTI and his associates were under investigation. GALIETTI also admitted that he asked a former agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration to ascertain whether GALIETTI was under investigation.
In addition, GALIETTI admitted that he physically threatened another carter with violence and damaged this same carter's property.
On June 8, 2006, a grand jury in New Haven returned an Indictment charging GALIETTI and others with various violations of federal law, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, Hobbs Act extortion, mail and wire fraud, witness tampering, tax fraud and conspiracy charges. On June 12, 2007, GALIETTI and others were charged in a Superseding Indictment. Today, GALIETTI pleaded guilty to Count Two of the Superseding Indictment charging him with racketeering conspiracy.
GALIETTI also pleaded guilty to a one-count Indictment pending in the Middle District of Florida. On December 14, 2006, special agents of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division executed a search warrant at a business in Fort Myers, Florida. On that date, GALIETTI, who had been released on bond following his June 2006 arrest in Connecticut and was employed by the Florida business being searched, was encountered by federal agents executing the warrant and asked if he worked for the company. GALIETTI falsely stated that he did not, and that he simply was "dropping by to say ‘hello.'"
On March 26, 2008, a federal grand jury in Fort Myers, Florida, returned an Indictment stemming from this incident charging GALIETTI with one count of making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer. GALIETTI, who subsequently was found to have violated his June 2006 bond conditions, has been detained in federal custody since March 27, 2008.
Judge Burns has scheduled sentencing for July 24, 2008, at which time GALIETTI faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 25 years and a fine of up to $500,000. Also, as a condition of his plea agreement, GALIETTI will forfeit $130,750 to the Government.
To date, 33 individuals and 10 businesses have been charged with various offenses stemming from a long-term investigation into the waste-hauling industry in Connecticut and eastern New York.
As to AWD and other defendants in this matter who are awaiting trial, Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and the Connecticut State Police. The United States Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Professional Responsibility, and the Connecticut Department of Correction have provided critical assistance in the Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael J. Gustafson, Raymond F. Miller, and Henry K. Kopel are prosecuting this case.
For more information, contact:
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE