Reputed Mafia don Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, who is awaiting trial on racketeering charges in Philadelphia, is a "garbage mobster," according to a report issued Tuesday by the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation.
Ligambi's connection to a trash hauler with ties to Philadelphia and South Jersey disposal companies was noted in "Industrious Subversion," the commission's look at organized crime's incursion into the solid-waste-disposal and recycling industries.
Other companies, most in northern New Jersey, also had consultants, hidden owners or middlemen with connections to the Gambino, DeCavalcante, or Genovese crime families, according to the report.
An official with the South Jersey company cited in the report called the mob allegations "ridiculous."
Ligambi, jailed since his May indictment, was on the payroll of Top Job, a South Philadelphia trash company, from 2003 to 2011, according to the commission.
The 72-year-old alleged mob boss received a salary and health benefits yet "performed no official work" for Top Job, according to the investigation.
Ligambi was paid a weekly salary of $1,000 between 2003 and 2009, and $500 in 2010, the report said.
Top Job had a $850,000-a-year contract to remove waste from the Philadelphia Produce Center in that period, according to the report.
The company is on the 3300 block of South Galloway Street, off Packer Avenue.
The report contends that the late Mauro Goffredo, founder of Top Job, and his son, Gregory, arranged the no-show job for Ligambi.
Gregory Goffredo was described in the report as the undisclosed owner of Top Job and All Star Recycling, based in New Egypt, Ocean County.
Goffredo's alleged mob ties and Ligambi's connection to the trash company exemplify what the commission called organized crime's "hidden hand" in the industry.
Gregory Goffredo was listed as a "salesman" at Top Job and All Star, so he was not required to undergo state licensing scrutiny, according to the report. In reality, he held a "hidden controlling interest" in the companies, the commission contended.
Had he been subject to a background investigation, All Star likely would have been denied a license to operate in New Jersey, the report concluded.
In an interview Tuesday, Gregory Goffredo said he was no longer in the trash business. Ligambi was hired by his late father, known as Mario, and was on the payroll when the younger Goffredo took over the company, he said.
Goffredo said he had no idea why his father put Ligambi on the payroll.
"They were friends," he said.
Asked if Ligambi ever did work for the company, he replied, "Not that I know of."
Before his father died in 2006, Goffredo said, "he asked me to do three things: Take care of my mother. Take care of my sister. And keep [Ligambi] on the payroll until the contract [with the Produce Center] expired."
The contract ended in April 2010 and Ligambi was removed from the payroll, Goffredo said.
Goffredo said that his involvement in the trash business had been limited and that he primarily looked after contracts his father was awarded.
Once those ended, he said, his involvement in the industry also ended. Top Job is now under different ownership, he said.
"I think it's crazy," he said of the alleged link between his father's company and the mob.
Ellie Goffredo, who said she owns All Star and its parent company, Kevco Disposal, said Tuesday that Gregory Goffredo had nothing to do with either of those companies.
"He's my soon-to-be ex-husband," she said. "I have no reason to stick up for him."
Kevco, she said, is a small company with two trucks and three employees, including herself. It has waste-hauling contracts with several private companies, she said, but she declined to offer details.
"None of this is true," Ellie Goffredo said of the alleged mob ties. "It's so ridiculous."
Ellie Goffredo said she knew nothing about Ligambi's employment at Top Job and insisted that neither the reputed mob boss nor her husband had anything to do with All Star.
"He never even got a paycheck from us," she said of her husband.
The commission's report contends that organized crime still plays a role in the solid-waste business more than 30 years after the agency first raised concerns.
"Garbage mobsters have been prosecuted and jailed, their waste-hauling cartels have been dismantled and special licensing requirements have been established," the report noted.
"Despite these actions," it said, "the integrity of the industry remains in peril."
The 47-page report, which was submitted to the governor and the state Senate and Assembly, includes a series of recommendations to expand licensing requirements, centralize and streamline enforcement, and prohibit convicted felons and those with suspected mob ties from "holding an indirect, non-licensed stake in the industry."