The Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Union Local 46 and the Mason Tenders District Council of New York City filed a multimillion-dollar racketeering lawsuit yesterday against two developers and a bankrupt construction manager regarding Manhattan and Brooklyn projects. Lalezarian Developers and JMH Development allegedly conspired with construction manager HRH Construction to perform millions of dollars of work under a bogus non-union company, Leviathan Construction Management, the unions say.
The suit was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York, says Tom Kennedy, attorney at New York-based Kennedy, Jennik and Murray, who is representing the unions. The projects in question include The Townsend in New York City, and Brooklyn Gold and 184 Kent Ave. in Brooklyn.
Calls to New York-based JMH and HRH were not returned by press time. New Hyde Park-based Lalezarian said it had no comment.
The developers allegedly conspired with unionized HRH from 2007 through 2011 to cheat the unions out of wages and benefits, the unions say. HRH "knowingly violated the company's collective bargaining agreements," according to the lawsuit.
"We think that this case is merely the tip of the iceberg," says Robert Ledwith, business manager of Local 46.
If Lalezarian, JMH and HRH are found guilty, the companies will have to pay more than $21 million under the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act, the unions say.