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RNC Industries

A concerning record[1]

Falls Lead to Injuries and Death on RNC Sites, while RNC is Repeatedly Cited for Lacking Fall Protection

  • In November 2007, an RNC worker, unsecured by fall protection, fell 38 feet to his death when newly hardened concrete and plywood floor gave way. OSHA issued RNC 14 “serious” violations following an investigation of the incident, including a violation for failing to provide required fall protection.

  • This was not the first time a worker had been injured by a fall on an RNC jobsite. In 2006, while it was still dark out in the in the early hours of the morning, an RNC worker was directed to lay concrete on the third level of a Manhattan building. He ended up falling 16 feet down an elevator shaft, sustaining major injuries that required a 10-day hospitalization. 

  • In addition to the 2007 incident, OSHA cited RNC for lacking fall protection for workers in 2010 and 2013. The 2013 citation followed an incident where a worker fell 15 feet when a support beam collapsed under him. 

  • OSHA’s investigation of the 2013 accident found that the support system was not properly erected, support beams were damaged and had not been inspected for defects, and workers lacked fall protection and had not been trained to recognize and minimize fall hazards. OSHA cited the company for four serious violations and a repeat violation of fall protection standards. In a statement issued in connection with the violations, OSHA’s area director for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens noted that “Falls are the number-one killer in construction work.”

Hundreds of thousands paid to settle wage theft suit:

  • In March of 2018, RNC agreed to pay 9 workers $210,000 to settle a suit alleging the company had systematically shorted workers 10-12 hours a week.

RNC’s principal tied to organized crime in 1996 bid-rigging conviction. 

  • RNC principal Richard Tonyes was convicted in 1996 of inflating the price of construction contracts, in a case that involved organized crime. On March 11, 1996, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York filed a letter noting that Tonyes’s inflated contracts scheme was related to an extortion scheme carried out by Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi and John “Johnny G.” Gammarano, reputed members of the Genovese and Gambino crime families, respectively.

RNC’s principals convicted of felony tax evasion in 2014, serve jail time and pay restitution.

  • In 2012, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York filed charges alleging that RNC principals Richard Tonyes and Robert Dugan illegally evaded payroll taxes for their non-union company Extreme Concrete Corporation.

  • Shortly after these charges were filed, both Tonyes and Dugan pled guilty to felony tax evasion. Tonyes was sentenced in 2014 to a 13-month jail term, and Dugan ordered to pay $164,311.38 in restitution to federal and state authorities.

Millions of dollars in intentional fraud against union pension funds.

  • In suits filed in 2013 and 2014, a number of unions sued the principals of union contractor River Avenue Contracting for allegedly creating RNC as a fraudulent alter ego company to perform work using non-union workers that was covered by union contracts, and avoid making contributions to union benefit funds. River Avenue/RNC’s principals ultimately paid more than $6 million to settle the suits.

  •  In an opinion issued in one of the suits, a judge found that RNC owner Richard Tonyes and his wife Sonia had intentionally defrauded the union funds and were therefore “individually liable” for any money owed. The opinion cited “smoking gun” evidence of fraud: Tonyes’ companies regularly submitted remittance reports signed by an “S. Smith,” even though nobody by that name ever worked at the companies. Wrote the judge: “Defendants’ use of a false name strongly indicates that they intended to defraud the Plaintiff Funds.”

Sold fake OSHA cards

  • One of the alter-ego lawsuits against RNC accused the company of selling unearned OSHA safety cards for $50 each to RNC workers who had not taken the required safety training to earn the card. This practice puts both the uncertified workers and the public at risk.

[1]See legalized RNC fact sheet, Summer 2018. 

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