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Racketeering in Legitimate Industries - Two Case Studies - Phase 2

NCJ Number
P Reuter; J B Rubinstein
Date Published
94 pages
This proposal describes research objectives and methods that will be used to complete case studies on racketeers in the solid waste and vending industries, with special consideration of the role of the labor union.
Phase I of this project was initiated to collect data on racketeer infiltration of legitimate businesses which could serve as a model for law enforcement agencies to improve their analytic skills in investigating such cases. The results of Phase I, however, dictated an attitude change which shifted responsibility for dealing with labor racketeering from law enforcement resources to regulatory and tax reforms. The preliminary study of solid waste collection in New Jersey and New York City yielded an interesting description of conspiracy, perhaps instigated by racketeers using union powers, but now run primarily for the benefit of the carters. In Phase II, additional data from New York and New Jersey law enforcement agencies will complete these studies, and then comparable data on competitive practices and prices will be collected from a small sample of cities. In order to study the pattern of labor racketeering across industries and unions, the project is arranging access to the files of the Department of Labor's Labor Management Services Administration covering their investigations from 1969 to 1977. The vending machine industry is particulary attractive to racketeers because of the considerable opportunities it provides for tax evasion and to exert influence over bar and restaurant businesses. The project has emphasized the cigarette vending segment of the industry and in Phase II will concentrate on the ownership of stamping agent firms in New Jersey and New York, the trucking companies who have contracts to haul cigarettes from New Jersey to New York, and the relationships between stamping agents and wholesalers. The failure of vending machine manufacturers to incorporate monitoring technology into machines and the discontinuity of information between Federal and State agencies will be examined. The project also plans to explore the role of vending in the financing of liquor retailing and collecting sales and excise taxes in metropolitan New York. The case studies will document the contention that regulations are ineffective in controlling racketeering and suggest changes in laws, along with strategies to combat extortionate labor practices. Analysis of the data is expected to show that organized crime usually obtains monopoly power over legitimate businesses through providing a few critical services, rather than violence and threats, and that regulation perpetuates this control. A schedule of project activities and reports is provided. The appendixes contain the Phase I LEAA grant application and a summary report of Phase I.