Sunday, April 1, 2007


As the plight of Bernard Kerik continues to envelop presidential hopeful, Rudolph Giuliani, there is yet another name to add to the list of "Rudy's Raiders". Anne Compoccia was a trusted appointee. Giuliani named her as a point person for the famous, yearly San Gennaro Festival. A huge gathering of tourists and locals celebrating Italian culture, food and music in the "Little Italy" section of Manhattan. Compoccia's job was to insure that revenues owed to the city from the festival be collected and turned over. Compoccia thought otherwise. After many years as a San Gennaro official, Compoccia was indicted on charges.

Archives of the Mayor's Press Office
Date: September 10, 1997
Release #538-97

Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958, Dwight Williams (212) 788-2972 or Adam Macy (212) 608-0333 (Figli di San Gennaro)


Last Year's Feast, Free of Organized Crime's Influence, Raised $150,000 for the Children of the New York City Archdiocese

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today kicked off the 70th Feast of San Gennaro, an 11-day cultural and religious celebration that benefits the children of the New York City Archdiocese. Joining the Mayor at today's announcement were Anne Compoccia, President of Figli di San Gennaro, Inc., Deputy Mayor Randy Mastro, Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington and Richard Mark, the Feast's independent monitor who will oversee the financial operation of this year's festival.

"The Feast of San Gennaro is one of New York City's special cultural attractions," Mayor Giuliani said. "From all five boroughs and from all over the world, families come to the festival to enjoy the carnival rides and Italian cuisine that makes this event so unique. But ,for years, control of the Feast of San Gennaro had fallen into the hands of organized crime. Reputed mob figures extorted money from vendors and ran illegal gambling operations while charities benefited little and the mob profited greatly.

"Two years ago, the tide began to turn," the Mayor continued. "I appointed an independent monitor, John Sabetta, to investigate the financial operations of the Feast. Based upon his recommendations, I removed the corrupt festival organizers and replaced them with Figli di San Gennaro -- Children of San Gennaro. Thanks to the efforts of Figli di San Gennaro, under the leadership of Anne Compoccia, the festival produced more than $150,000 for Catholic schools and parishes on the Lower East Side. This year, our efforts continue -- Figli di San Gennaro is back for a second year in a row to ensure that all of the festival's net proceeds go to charity and I have appointed Richard Mark the Feast's new independent monitor. I urge all New Yorkers to take a trip down to Mulberry Street to enjoy the sights and sounds of the new and improved Feast of San Gennaro."

Anne Compoccia, President of Figli di San Gennaro, said, "This is a tradition carried on for 70 years, a tradition handed down from our grandparents. And now, we are able to use our cultural traditions to benefit those New Yorkers who need help the most, our children."

Early in 1995, a Manhattan federal grand jury charged that the Feast of San Gennaro, at the time operated by the Society of San Gennaro Naples & Suburbs Inc. ("Society"), was controlled by La Cosa Nostra and that these forces influenced aspects of the Feast. In September 1995, Mayor Giuliani threatened to shut down the festival if the event's organizers failed to open their books to a City-appointed independent monitor. The Feast's organizers agreed to this condition and John C. Sabetta was named independent monitor. At the conclusion of the Feast, Mr. Sabetta presented a report to the Mayor.

* Among his many findings were: That the "Society" was not a genuine not-for-profit but a group operated for the private benefit of mob associates and friends.
* From at least 1993 to 1995, the "Society" failed to conduct the Feast honestly and to comply with its charter as a charitable organization. With revenue ranging from $300,000 to $400,000, only a small portion, approximately three percent, went to charity.
* Illegal gambling was operated on private lots adjacent to Mulberry Street. The "Society" most likely had a substantial financial interest in this activity.
* The "Society" lavished excessively profitable contracts on two well-connected suppliers -- a decorative lighting contractor and a waste removal firm.

Mr. Sabetta concluded that for the Feast to continue, the City must issue the permit to a sponsor other than the "Society." In 1996, Mayor Giuliani did just that awarding the San Gennaro permit to Figli di San Gennaro (Children of San Gennaro) established by the Archdiocese of New York City to operate the festival fairly and to ensure that all of the event's proceeds would go to the children of the Church. Last year, Figli di San Gennaro raised more than $150,000 for the Archdiocese.

For decades, organized crime imposed a "mob tax" that artificially inflated business costs and consumer prices in New York City. The Giuliani Administration has ended organized crime's control of the Fulton Fish Market, the private carting industry and the City's public wholesale food markets.

The results have been remarkable:

A comprehensive licensing program at the Fulton Fish Market that removed corrupt parties from the market has resulted in a 20 percent reduction in unloading costs, a 70 percent reduction in loading costs and an 80 percent reduction in carting costs. The quantity of fish coming into the Market has risen by 50 percent. All told, this has caused a five percent reduction in prices for the top 20 finfish by sales volume (adjusted for the national rate of inflation this reduction in fish prices is 12 percent). After the Giuliani Administration established the Trade Waste Commission to remove corrupt parties from the private carting industry, numerous national carting firms that avoided the New York City market began to compete here, causing prices to plummet. The City was able to reduce the maximum rates that carters can charge by 20 percent. The elimination of the "mob tax" on private carting is saving City businesses more than $350 million annually.

The same reforms seen at the Fulton Fish Market and the private carting industry are now being implemented at the Hunts Point Produce Market and will be introduced at the City's other public wholesale food markets, such as the Gansevoort Meat Market and the Brooklyn Terminal and Meat Markets.

The Feast of San Gennaro runs from September 11th to September 21st. All proceeds from the Feast benefit schools and local parishes on the Lower East Side. The schools that receive contributions from the Feast are largely low-income, non-Catholic families.

MANHATTAN: An activist in Little Italy picked by Mayor Giuliani to run a mob-free Feast of San Gennaro ended up skimming money from Mulberry St. merchants, prosecutors charged yesterday.

Anne Compoccia, head of the Children of San Gennaro and longtime chairwoman of Manhattan's Community Board 1, was charged by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White with one count of bank fraud.

The money came not from the San Gennaro festival, but from fees merchants paid to a Compoccia-led group that collected "rent" to turn Little Italy's most famous street into a summertime pedestrian mall, prosecutors said.

Compoccia, a well-liked activist who grew up in Little Italy was released without having to post bail and declined to comment.

She faces a $1 million fine and up to 30 years in jail.

In 1995 federal prosecutors indicted several members of the Genovese crime family, alleging that they secretly controlled San Gennaro, the city's biggest street fair.
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