Worth Construction "entered a guilty plea Friday to aiding in the filing of false income taxes in 1999, illegally claiming $97,220 in business deductions, including $20,000 in 'gifts' its owner gave former Waterbury Mayor Philip A. Giordano" as reported by Bill Leukhardt for the Hartford Courant:
Worth Construction faces a maximum $500,000 fine and five years' probation when sentenced March 29 in U.S. District Court in Hartford. Court records show that the illegal deductions actually were personal expenses of Worth's owner, Joseph Pontoriero of Greenwich. Last month, Pontoriero, who had a 93 percent share of Worth, entered a plea of guilty in federal court to a charge of providing a gratuity to Giordano. Federal officials have described Worth as having ties to New York's Genovese crime family during the years that Pontoriero was Worth's president and majority shareholder. Pontoriero, 70, and no longer involved in the business, faces a maximum of three years in prison and a maximum $350,000 fine when he is sentenced March 8.
At the time of the gifts, Giordano was mayor and Pontoriero was seeking payment on a contract that Worth Construction had for about $100 million of work on the city sewage plant. The U.S. attorney's office filed a complaint in court accusing Pontoriero of giving Giordano more than $8,300 in designer clothing and a $12,000 loan, which Giordano did not repay. * * * As part of his plea bargain with prosecutors, Pontoriero agreed to remove himself from Worth Construction, except when he is needed to satisfy insurance obligations. * * * Worth has repeatedly been accused of having improper ties to New York's Genovese crime family during the years that Pontoriero was president and majority shareholder. In 2005, New York state officials cited information gathered by the FBI in Connecticut when rejecting Worth Construction's bid to build a highway interchange in Orange County. At the time that Worth was upgrading Waterbury's sewage treatment plant, the company was barred by New York City's School Construction Authority from bidding on school work. In 1987, an FBI witness at a Mafia trial in New York testified that Pontoriero had been secretly recorded while meeting with Genovese boss Anthony Salerno at Salerno's club, the Palma Boys Social Club in Manhattan.
Pontoriero is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8, and he faces up to three years in prison.