By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Federal authorities have agreed to pay $3.1 million to a trash hauler convicted in a price-fixing conspiracy to settle his claim that they violated their plea agreement with him by selling his companies but failing to pay him.
James Galante said in February the government was supposed to pay him $10.7 million but had only paid $7.6 million. Galante and the government have filed an agreement in which he will be paid the balance.
Galante, who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and fraud charges, was sentenced in 2008 to more than seven years in prison and is expected to be released this summer.
“We are pleased that we have been able to settle this matter,” said H. James Pickerstein, Galante’s attorney. “It’s important that Mr. Galante get on with his life. He’s looking forward to getting on with his life and he has put this phase of his life behind him.”
The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on the agreement, which is subject to a judge’s approval. The government agreed to make the payment “to bring this obligation to conclusion and to avoid unnecessary costs and the uncertainty of future litigation,” the agreement said.
Galante had agreed in plea negotiations to give up his right to the repayment of about $30 million of the $41 million in outstanding personal loans he had made to the companies, Pickerstein has said.
Galante’s businesses handled nearly 80 percent of the refuse in southwestern Connecticut and prosecutors said Galante paid a quarterly $30,000 mob tax to alleged Genovese crime family boss Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello in exchange for muscle to stifle competition. Ianniello pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in prison. He died in 2012.
Galante admitted to trying to rig a bid for a contract to operate a transfer station, tampering with a witness, having no-show employees, accepting payroll kickbacks from employees and skimming cash from his businesses. He also admitted to violating the salary cap on his minor league hockey team, the Danbury Trashers, after prosecutors said he gave some of the players and their wives no-show jobs with his garbage companies.
The witness tampering that Galante admitted to involved directions to lie to the grand jury about providing cash on behalf of Galante and others to Ianniello’s alleged bag man.
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