House of Representatives Committee on Crime Honorable Chairman Honorable Members of the committee, My name is Ronald Fino From 1973 thru 1988 1 was the Business Manager of Laborers local 210 in Buffalo, New York and from 1980 to 1988, A trustee of the Laborers International Union of North America Training Fund. During this time I witnessed the gripping control of the union and its membership by the Cosa Nostra and the defilement of its workers, their dues and benefit funds. Constituents, relatives, associates and cronies of the mob would and are always first in line when plush working assignments were and are handed out. As the son of a member of this arcane organization, I becam privy to the methods and procedures implemented to financially and politically benefit from the victimized membership and the unknowing public.. As we alrady know the Cosa Nostra and its members will go to extreme lengths to avoid public disclosures about its existence and omerta ( the code of silence) is paramount. You very seldom, hear an LCN member discuss family activity in plain language, thus signals and hand gestures are used to discuss scores, mob activity and of course each other (you will hear this guy or the that guy but almost never the real name.) Even though my father was a member of the Cosa Nostra, He instilled me values that led to my eventual cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and provide them an in depth look at how labor unions are victims of organized racketeering No arm twisting or potential prosecution was necessary. I willingly approached the bureau and offered my insight and assistance. Maybe, I was just a naive kid of 25, I don’t know? and to be honest if I had to do it over again I don’t know what I would do today. I guess I kind of viewed life thru rose colored glasses and that problems such as the mob would be swept away and viewed as a cancer that we found a cure for. In fact I wasn’t in office one month at Laborers local 210 when I approached an FBI Agent that was a friend of mine and berated him and the bureau for not helping the working people such as those I represented in eliminating Cosa Nostra domination .The agent responded that the bureau cannot do it alone, that it takes the likes of me and the very witnesses to mob activity that can make a difference. After assurances that I would never surface or ever have to discuss my father or my family I agreed to readily provide what ever information I could. For over 16 years I communicated on a regular basis with FBI agents and keep them abreast of Cosa Nostra activity throughout the United States and Canada – Much of that information pointed toward the Laborers International Union and its total dominance by the Cosa Nostra. As much as I learned from my father, I learned even more about the mobs control from the likes of the late Arthur E.Coia who was the then General Secretary Treasurer of the Union and Michael Lorello the Vice President and Regional Manager for New York and New Jersey. Of course my education didn’t stop there, I also learned from Cosa Nostra members and union officials from Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Newark, St. Lois, I could go on and on. You will hear my detractors and those that I linked to the mob say that I am a hired gun for the FBI or a story for sale to the highest bidding. I wish to point out that what I am reporting today, or what I have reported to the Justice Department and the FBI is not new. In fact everything I have stated about the Laborers International Union and the Cosa Nostra has been well documented prior to my being compromised by the Cosa Nostra in 1989 and is contained in the voluminous 302’s generated by me and located throughout this country in FBI vaults. Of course what can my detractan say: (Ronnie is correct I am a crook, or I like what Ronnie has to say about so and so, but when it comes to me, He is a liar!) Let me also point out to those that level charges about my being paid by the FBI to testify. This in part is true, but I also had to work and work hard. Besides lecturing at Quantico, the bureau treated me onc of thcir own and allowed me to prepare investigative procedures and discovery techniques for labor racketeering and environment crime. For those critics that my I opted for the life I now live, How do I answer them, do I say I like seeing my children once a year if I’m lucky, or do I say I like being able to walk down the street without worrying about discovery. The only answer I can give is consider the motivation as well as the source. It is hard to express or for me to even recall that cold fateful day in January of 1989 when I learned from a Cosa Nostra Member that the Buffalo organized crime family had placed a price tag on my head because of my cooperation with the FBI. FIeeing Buffalo, I had little choice but to turn to the FBI for assistance and safety. Forced to uproot my life and leave my friends, my love ones and the only way of life I knew and live on military bases was not what I would CAll a normal living. Months of depression and confusion were the norm and I desperately wanted and yearned for the past. But I knew I could never go home again and all I could do was tried to start a new meaningful life. I signed a personal service agreement with the FBI and assisted them and the Justice Department in bringing about a Civil RICO complaint against the hierarchy of the Laborers International Union and over 15O local union and district council officials. I also testified in four Federal Court cases against Cosa Nostra members and associates. I provided information that led to the convictions of more than 50 Genovese family members and it was that information and body recordings that led to the criminal Rico takeover of the New York city mason tenders by the United States Justice Department. In May of 1994, I was told by the FBI that my services were no longer needed and that I should look for work elsewhere. A new name was not good enough to find employment and I had virtually no previous history to rely upon. The limited background I was given, proved to much to overcome and I was forced to grovel and beg for financial assistance to survive. As a result of what I had learned about the Cosa Nostra and its control of the Laborers International Union I was to work for its newly created office of the Inspector General. I have pointed out Laborer local’s District councils, Regional offices and their officials and business agents that our controlled by the Cosa Nostra. I wish to strongly point out to this honorable committee that the Control of the policy making and appointments throughout the infastructure of the Laborers International Union lay with the Cosa Nostra. You can not become a General President, nor an international officer of LIUNA without mob approval. This dosen’t mean that that each and every official is aware of the heavy hand that dictates that officials every move. The Cosa Nostra in Chicago and New York City are the bastions of mob strength and even though families in Buffalo, Cleveland, New England and so on do control their respective areas, they remain as subordinates to the major families. In the case of the Black and Hispanic Vice Presidents and officials in LIUNA they are placed in office purely to placate and fend off any public and membership scrutiny. Even though the Cosa Nostra and its absolute control is not always visible it still rernains.. ever present and ready. Having an unlimited pool of finances available and the ability to him high caliber attorney’s has created a perplexing problem for judicial prosecution. We sometimes do succeed and the types of John Gotti are incarcerated, unfortunately this is not always the case and we remain in the mobs clutches. Many creative members and associates of the Cosa Nostra are no longer adorned in Fedoras and you will find that they are well educated and take full advantage of that education and the moneys they have accumulated. Today you will flnd the mob is as reliant on public relations firms as it is with its high powered attorneys and accountants. Projecting an image of goodness, popping up ond chairing charitable fund raising functions combined with a voice for social justice the racketeer builds a formidable defense against the justice department and prosecution. As difficult as it has been to bring criminal indictments and convictions against this stubborn and resilient brotherhood of crime, much has been accomplished, but much is not good enough, only when the total eradication of Cosa Nostra influence with our political system, labor unions and due process is complete will the common worker at last be able to raise his or her hands.