Vincent Ricciardo appears in an undated photograph.

Vincent Ricciardo appears in an undated photograph. Credit: Mecklenburg County Sheriff Office

A 77-year-old Colombo crime family captain from Franklin Square was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison for extorting and attempting to siphon $10,000 monthly from a Queens-based labor union, federal prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Hector Gonzalez sentenced Vincent Ricciardo, also known as “Vinny Unions,” to 51 months in prison and ordered him to pay $350,000 in forfeiture and $280,890 in restitution. Ricciardo pleaded guilty to racketeering in July, and admitted his participation in the extortion of the labor union and various conspiracies to commit money laundering, loan-sharking and fraud in connection with workplace safety certificates, prosecutors said.

In a recorded conversation, Ricciardo, according to federal prosecutors, threatened to kill a union official.

Ricciardo said he would “put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids, right in front of his [expletive] house, you laugh all you want pal, I’m not afraid to go to jail, let me tell you something, to prove a point? I would [expletive] shoot him right in front of his wife and kids, call the police, [expletive] it, let me go, how long you think I’m gonna last anyway?”

Ricciardo is the 10th defendant sentenced in the case in connection with the scheme. Four defendants are yet to be sentenced.

“This prosecution represents our continued commitment to combating organized crime and prosecuting the individuals who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of hardworking union members and their employers,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Breon Peace said in a statement.

Ricciardo and his co-conspirators attempted to divert more than $10,000 monthly from the union’s health care benefit fund to the crime family, and to force the senior union official to provide a portion of his salary and “ultimately to make decisions that would financially benefit the Colombo crime family’s administration,” prosecutors said.

Ricciardo and his fellow Colombo crime family members assisted other labor unions and health funds to devise a scheme to launder money from health fund contracts and vendor payments, officials said. The plan involved rebidding health fund vendor contracts for claims administration, pharmaceuticals and other health services, officials said.

Ricciardo also worked with Bonanno crime family soldier John Ragano, who was also known as “Bazoo” and the “Maniac,” to provide fake workplace safety training certifications from two occupational safety schools that Ragano said he operated on Long Island, officials said.

Ragano falsified paperwork submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor and other government agencies falsely stating that hundreds of workers had completed construction safety training courses. Ricciardo plotted to direct some union workers to Ragano’s schools for phony certifications and used the facilities for meetings involving members of La Cosa Nostra.

Theodore Persico Jr., 59, of Brooklyn, who the government alleged was slated to be the family’s next crime boss, pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment and restitution of $280,890.

Underboss Benjamin Castellazzo, 85, of Manahawkin, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment. Consigliere Ralph DiMatteo, 68, of Merrick, pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment and restitution of $280,890.

Soldier Michael Uvino, 57, of Garden City, pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment, forfeiture of $66,000 and restitution of $280,890. Associate Domenick Ricciardo, 57, of Franklin Square, pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment, forfeiture of $25,000 and restitution of $280,890. Albert Alimena, 69, of Pompano Beach, Florida, and Joseph Bellantoni, 41, of Massapequa, both pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy and received two years’ probation and fines of $20,000 each.

Ragano, 61, of Franklin Square, was sentenced to 57 months’ custody, as well as forfeiture of $500,000. Four defendants await sentencing, including Colombo crime family captain Richard Ferrara, 61, of Brooklyn, and associate Thomas Costa, 54, of West Islip.

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