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U.S. v. VARIO

March 31, 2003

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AGAINST PETER VARIO, DEFENDANT.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert W. Sweet, United States District Judge

SENTENCING OPINION

Defendant Peter Vario ("Vario") pled guilty on May 17, 2002, to obtaining employment from General Concrete Construction, which is affiliated with a union of the Mason Tenders District Council, in violation of an order issued by this Court on September 23, 1996. This order expelled Vario from the Mason Tenders District Council and its constituent unions and permanently barred his membership in, association with, and/or employment by the Mason Tenders and its affiliated trust funds.

For the reasons set forth below, Vario will be sentenced to 6 months' imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years' supervised release. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3013, a special assessment fee of $100 is mandatory.

The Defendant

Vario was born Pietro Vario on March 22, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York to the union of Catherine and Salvatore Vario. Vario's mother, now 80 years old, resides in Boyton Beach, Florida. His father died in 1976, at the age of 57, from a heart attack. Vario has six siblings.

Vario's parents divorced when he was four years old. In his childhood, he did not have a good relationship with his father, but this relationship improved when Vario was about 12 years old and went to work in his father's florist shop. Vario enjoys a good relationship with his mother and reports being close to his siblings.

On November 7, 1965, Vario married Elaine Lebitz in Brooklyn, New York. They had one daughter, who was killed in 1989, in a car accident at the age of 19. Vario and Elaine divorced on December 6, 1993.

On April 6, 1996, Vario married Janet Mulhall, now 41, in Smithtown, New York. They have two children, Daniel, 4 and Jill Anna, about 14 months. Janet is a massage therapist and has her own business, located on Long Island. Vario lives with his wife and two children in Miller Place, New York. Mrs. Vario purchased this residence in 1994 or 1995 for $320,000. The mortgage balance on the home is about $220,000, and the monthly payment is $2800.

Vario attended New York City public schools. He left East New York Vocational High School, located in Brooklyn, New York, after completing the eleventh grade, at the age of 16. He received a High School Equivalency Diploma from the University of the State of New York Education Department in 1973. Vario attended Suffolk County Community College, located in Sheldon, New York, in September 1973, but his scholastic standing and attendance were poor.

Between 1975 and 1993, Vario was employed first as a laborer, then a union field representative, and for the last five years of his employment, as an administrator of the Local 66 Trust Funds for General Building Laborers Local 66. As a result of his previous criminal conviction related to this employer, Vario left at the directive of Judge Mischler of the Eastern District of New York. Between February and May 1999, Vario worked as a laborer at General Concrete located in Farmingdale, New York. General Building Laborers, located in Melville, New York, reported that Vario worked as an administrator for the "fringe benefits" section of the General Building Laborers Local 66 Trust Funds. Aside from his employment in 1999, Vario stated that he has not been employed since 1995. He assists his wife at her office, but he is not on her business's payroll.

According to the business manager of Local 66, Vario has received a monthly pension income of $205.03 since June 1999. Vario advised that he would liquidate funds from an Amerifund account of $200,000 to satisfy any monetary criminal penalties.

The Offense

On June 26, 1990, Vario was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on four counts of Labor Bribery and one count of Racketeering Conspiracy, to 46 months' imprisonment, 3 years' supervised release, forfeiture of $88,000, a fine of $50,000, $55,660 in costs of imprisonment, and a $700 assessment. Vario was later found to be unlawfully benefitting from the union's award system. On September 23, 1996, this Court issued a civil order expelling Vario from the MTDC and its constituent locals and imposing a ban on Vario to prohibit his employment in any union within the labor movement. Vario was also ordered to repay $35,769.50 to the union.

Between February and May 1999, Vario subsequently obtained employment, in defiance of this Court's order, in an attempt to enrich himself through significantly enhanced pension benefits. Through this crime, Vario attempted to embezzle ...


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