HARTFORD (CN) – Connecticut wants millions of dollars from a convicted trash hauler who swindled customers through bid rigging and inflated disposal costs. James Galante, 55, is serving a 7-year prison sentence and paid a $100,000 fine. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal wants him to pay millions more in restitution.
“James Galante deserves prison, but consumers deserve restitution – millions of dollars for bid rigging and price manipulation that inflated trash hauling costs in southwestern Connecticut,” Blumenthal said in a statement.
“Victims of Galante’s racketeering and bid rigging conspiracy – thousands of small businesses overcharged millions of dollars – deserve money back for Galante’s fraud and deceit.”
The state claims in Superior Court that Galante violated trade and antitrust laws by inflating contracts and rigging bids. Money it recovers will be returned to victims, including Yale University, Blumenthal said.
“Galante enriched himself by manipulating the market with his powerful waste empire in Connecticut, rigging bids and falsely blaming 10 percent price hikes on increased disposal costs,” Blumenthal said. “In reality, Galante was padding his profits and funneling illegal windfalls to his own professional hockey and automobile racing teams at the expense of customers, who unknowingly subsidized these extravagances.”
Galante was among dozens arrested in a 2006 federal probe of the region’s trash hauling industry. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2008.
Galante owned the Danbury Trashers, a minor league hockey team, and an auto racing team in addition to his “trash empire,” according to the complaint.