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United States v. Mariani

decided: July 11, 1988.


Appeal from an order of the Eastern District of New York, Sifton, Judge, which vacated appellee Dominic Mariani's convictions for RICO conspiracy and other charges on the ground that the government had made impermissible, non-evidentiary uses of immunized testimony given by Mariani before a grand jury.

Lumbard, Kearse, and Pierce, Circuit Judges.

Author: Lumbard

LUMBARD, Circuit Judge:

The government appeals from an order of Judge Sifton of the Eastern District of New York which vacated Dominic Mariani's convictions for conspiring to participate in the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering (18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)), conspiring to commit extortion (18 U.S.C. § 1951), making illegal payments to a union representative (29 U.S.C. § 186(a)(2)), and making illegal payments to influence the operation of an employee benefit plan (18 U.S.C. § 1954). The court dismissed the indictment against Mariani on the ground that the government improperly used testimony Mariani had given to a grand jury under a grant of immunity in order to obtain his conviction. Finding that Mariani's indictment and conviction were based on evidence wholly independent of his immunized testimony, we reverse the order of the district court and reinstate Mariani's conviction and sentence.

The record shows that the government made no use of Mariani's immunized testimony in presenting its case at Mariani's trial. Nor did the government make any impermissible non-evidentiary use of Mariani's immunized testimony. Our conclusion and the reasons therefor require us to set forth at some length the steps in the government's investigation of Teamsters Local 814 which began in 1982.


After a lengthy investigation by the government, the grand jury returned Indictment 85-CR-00354 (the "1985 Indictment") on June 10, 1985 charging Philip Rastelli and 16 others with participation in a RICO conspiracy consisting of various trucking companies and members of organized crime to corrupt Teamsters Union Local 814.*fn1 Although not then indicted on the conspiracy charges, Mariani was charged in counts 54 and 55 of this indictment with making false material declarations before the grand jury on August 23, 1984, and with obstruction of justice (in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1623(a), 1503). Those charges were based on Mariani's allegedly false testimony in regard to his role as a co-conspirator as the owner of Washington Moving and Storage Company and later as a principal of Guardian Worldwide Transport, as well as his status as a beneficiary of the conspiracy resulting from his participation in bid-rigging of government moving contracts, unlawful payments with respect to employee benefit funds and various Taft-Hartley law violations. The conviction of Mariani on counts 54 and 55 of this 1985 Indictment is not at issue in this appeal, but the investigation leading to that 1985 Indictment is relevant to our inquiry concerning the basis for his later indictment for RICO conspiracy and other charges.*fn2

In January 1986, as a result of additional evidence developed by the government, Mariani was charged in Indictment 86-CR-0015 (the "1986 Indictment") with four offenses, including the RICO conspiracy already charged against Rastelli and his co-defendants in the 1985 Indictment.

After the district court consolidated the two indictments for trial, Mariani petitioned the court to conduct a hearing, pursuant to Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441, 32 L. Ed. 2d 212, 92 S. Ct. 1653 (1972), to determine whether the proceedings leading to, and the trial based upon, the 1986 Indictment were or would be tainted by his prior immunized testimony. On February 21, 1986, the district court ruled that such a hearing would be conducted after the trial.

Following a six-month trial of Mariani and his co-defendants charged in the 1985 Indictment, Mariani was convicted by a jury of the four counts charged in the 1986 Indictment and the false statement and obstruction of justice charges made in the 1985 Indictment. On February 10, 1987, the district court sentenced Mariani to a total of one year imprisonment on the false statement and obstruction charges, to be served consecutively with four one year consecutive terms on the four counts of the racketeering conspiracy. He was also fined $15,000 and ordered to forfeit $5,000 to the United States.

At the Kastigar hearing, held on July 9, and 14, 1987, the government called Laura Brevetti, Assistant Attorney-in-Charge of the Brooklyn Strike Force, Alan Friedman, Special Attorney with the Strike Force, and Special Agent David Stone of the FBI, all of whom were involved in the investigation of the conspiracy at issue in this appeal. The court received transcripts of Mariani's non-immunized grand jury testimony of September 12, 1983, his immunized grand jury testimony of August 23, 1984, portions of the government's prosecutive memorandum dated July 9, 1985, and subpoenas dated June 11, May 2, and August 27, 1985 calling for the production of documents from Mariani's moving companies. The court also heard evidence concerning the roles of two government witnesses, Anthony Giliberti and Warren Wagner, in the government's investigation of Mariani's role in the RICO conspiracy.

Mariani's Grand Jury Testimony on September 12, 1983

Mariani was first called before the grand jury on September 12, 1983. He testified, without claiming immunity, that he was an employee of Guardian Worldwide Movers, a company owned by his son, since 1981. He previously had been a part owner and employee of Washington Movers since 1952, which was no longer in business. Washington Movers' employees were represented by Local 814 and Mariani was a member of Local 814. Washington Movers had non-union as well as union employees. Mariani testified that he knew Anthony Giliberti, Local 814's delegate for Washington Movers, and Earl Coralluzo, Local 814's business agent. He had "no such recollection" whether he paid Coralluzo for preferential treatment from Local 814.

Mariani, asserting his privilege against self-incrimination, refused to answer various questions, including the following: whether he knew an organized crime figure named Jimmy Rotondo, whether Washington Movers paid five percent of certain contracts to Local 814, whether he was responsible for $1,000 a month being paid to Local 814 from Guardian Movers, whether he gave money to Anthony Cantatore or Jimmy Rotondo, and whether Washington Movers bought approximately forty Local 814 union membership books for $4,000.

Mariani's Grand Jury Testimony on August 23, 1984

On August 23, 1984, Mariani testified again before the same grand jury pursuant to a grant of immunity under 18 U.S.C. § 6002. He testified that he was part owner and president of Guardian Transport Company, Inc./Worldwide Moving. Previously, Mariani worked for his father's company, Washington Moving and Storage Company which was in existence from 1915 to 1981. Both companies' employees were represented by Local 814. Mariani's companies used non-union labor, were delinquent in paying their obligations to ...

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