Former Navillus CEO Donal O’Sullivan was sentenced to six months in prison for his involvement in a scheme that prosecutors say defrauded construction unions of more than $1 million.
O’Sullivan was sentenced on Friday and ordered to go to jail on November 13. His sister, Helen O’Sullivan, the company’s former treasurer, was also sentenced to two years’ probation this week.
Navirus’ former auditor general, Padraig Naughton, faces a year in prison. The amount of damages in the case has yet to be determined, although the judge found the union lost $1.2 million.
Erin Jaroslaw, O’Sullivan’s attorney, said in a statement: “Given that Donner and Helen have provided a lifetime of service to others, these sentences reflect the court’s understanding of the context of the case.” Both Al and Helen are inherently good people who could still do more for the wellbeing of society.”
The trio were convicted in October 2021 of wire fraud, mail fraud, misappropriation of employee benefit funds, filing false remittance reports to union benefit funds, and conspiracy to commit these crimes.
The three are accused of conspiring to avoid payments to union welfare funds between 2011 and 2017. The trio funneled more than $7.2 million to an organization despite a collective bargaining agreement requiring the use of union labor and contributions to union benefit funds. The authority said the consultancy Allied was compensated for construction work it did not carry out.
Allied then used the funds to pay certain Navillus employees and to hide those employees’ hours from the union benefit fund.
In a sentencing memo representing O’Sullivan, his lawyers cited his philanthropic work over the years and said he earned the industry’s respect by founding Navillus out of a tile and masonry business he started in the late 1980s . The firm eventually grew to become one of the city’s largest concrete contractors, working on iconic towers such as SL Green Realty’s One Vanderbuilt.
“Donald devoted his life to building a company that grew from a small subcontractor to a major New York City construction firm providing employment and opportunity to thousands of workers – and since his arrest, he can no longer work there ,” his lawyer wrote.
“Taking it from me is like taking a child from its mother; that’s how I feel after being sued, according to O’Sullivan’s lawyer.
The memo also called the case “extremely unusual,” noting that other fraud cases against the construction giant have not brought any criminal charges against individuals.
In a sentencing memo, prosecutors noted “the brazen, methodical and long-running nature of the criminal scheme.” They also accused O’Sullivan of downplaying the case as a “civil dispute for breach of contract”.
“This is not a case involving a good-faith dispute over specific terms [collective bargaining agreement]. The memo states that the defendants and their co-conspirators intentionally hid a portion of their wages from the benefit fund to avoid making contributions over a period of time.
The unions involved in the welfare fund in the case include New York City Carpenters Union, Cement Masons Union, Mason Tenders Union, International Brotherhood of Truckers 282, Cement and Concrete Workers District Council, Bricklayers and United Craft Workers Local Union One and Pointer Union, Cleaner and caulk.
Navillus is now led by Colin Mathers, formerly Chief Operating Officer.
The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2018 after settling what was considered a major union lawsuit. In 2017, a federal judge ruled in favor of five union benefit and pension funds that accused Navillus of using another company owned by O’Sullivan’s brother, Kevin, to avoid using unions in its projects. labor agreement.