Carl Andrew Capasso

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Carl Andrew Capasso (September 10, 1945 - March 14, 2001) a.k.a. Andy Capasso, was a sewer contractor, who had been convicted of tax fraud and later of bribing a judge.[1][2] He was accused of bribing judge Hortense Gabel by arranging, for the judge's daughter Sukhreet Gabel, a job with Bess Myerson. Myerson was indicted and resigned her positions with the City of New York, but was ultimately acquitted.[3] The scandal was the subject of When She Was Bad, a book by Shana Alexander published in 1991.


He was born in Brooklyn on September 10, 1945 to Josephine and Michael E. Capasso.[4] He married Nancy Herbert in 1966.

He started a construction company, Nanco Contracting Corporation, and won several contracts in New York City for sewer repair. In 1987 he was charged with writing off $1.2 million in renovations on his two Manhattan apartments as business expenses; and for receiving $300,000 in fraudulent damage claims against his own company without paying taxes on the income.[5][1]

He was convicted of tax evasion and his company was barred from working for New York City.[6][1]

He then served a four year federal prison sentence at Federal Correctional Complex, Allenwood.[7][8] In 1989 he used a front company to win a new contract.[9][1]

He started dating Bess Myerson, and when his wife found out, they divorced. He was ordered to pay $1,500 a week in support by Judge Hortense Gabel. Capasso had Bess Myerson hire the daughter of Judge Gabel at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. Gabel then lowered his support payments to $500 a week. He died of pancreatic cancer on March 14, 2001 at age 51.[1][10][11]


  1. ^ a b c d e Susan Saulny (March 15, 2001). "Carl A. Capasso, 55, Figure in 80's Trial With Bess Myerson". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-17. Carl A. Capasso, a businessman who went from being an obscure city sewer contractor to a lead player in a bizarre municipal scandal involving a former Miss America, died yesterday. He was 55. The cause was pancreatic cancer, his son Michael said. Mr. Capasso became a staple of tabloid newspaper coverage in the late 1980s when he was charged with scheming with Bess Myerson, his companion at the time, to reduce his alimony payments. Ms. Myerson, a former Miss America, had served as the city's cultural affairs commissioner under Mayor Edward I. Koch. 
  2. ^ Selwyn Raab (June 25, 1987). "Jury Subpoenas Brokerage In Investigation Of Myerson". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-21. In a pre-sentence memorandum in Mr. Capasso's tax-evasion case, the prosecutor, David N. Lawrence, an assistant United States Attorney in Manhattan, said an organized-crime leader, Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno, and his lieutenants were overheard discussing Mr. Capasso's role in the distribution of construction projects in the city. ... 
  3. ^ "Miss America Wins Again". Time magazine. January 2, 1989. Retrieved 2008-10-17. And what was $1,000 a week more or less to Andy Capasso, 43, a sewer contractor with multiple homes and cars, city contracts worth $150 million and a net worth of some $12 million? ... Capasso, who is serving three years in federal prison for income tax evasion. Born in 1945 -- the year Myerson was crowned Miss America -- Capasso came along during Myerson's losing Senate bid in 1980, helped her pay off campaign debts, bought her a Mercedes and a fur coat, and gave her the run of his Long Island mansion. All was seeming paradise until Nancy Capasso found out about Bess two years after the affair started, kicked Capasso out of their $6 million Fifth Avenue duplex, and asked for alimony. 
  4. ^ "Capasso - Carl (Andy)". New York Times. March 15, 2001. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  5. ^ "Myerson Friend Receives Four-Year Prison Term For Tax Evasion". Associated Press. March 30, 1987. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  6. ^ Ronald Goldstock (1990). Corruption and Racketeering in the New York City Construction Industry. New York University Press. In 1987, federal prosecutors charged Carl Capasso, president of Nanco Construction, with a series of federal tax violations alleging that Capasso ... 
  7. ^ Arnold H. Lubasch (March 31, 1987). "Capasso Receives 4 Years In Tax Case". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-19. Carl A. Capasso, a major construction contractor for New York City, was sentenced in Federal District Court in Manhattan yesterday to four years in prison and fined $500,000 for evading income taxes on the work he did for the city. 
  8. ^ "Capasso Wife Sued on City Contract". New York Newsday. August 29, 1987. Retrieved 2013-11-19. Carl Capasso now is serving a four-year federal prison sentence for tax evasion. ... 
  9. ^ Selwyn Raab (August 9, 1991). "Firm Called Dominated By Capasso". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-19. Carl A. Capasso, who was convicted of tax evasion and barred from work for New York City, made a camouflaged comeback by using a front company to obtain $2 million in city contracts, officials say. 
  10. ^ "Cancer Kills 'Bess Mess' Big Capasso At Age 55". New York Post. March 15, 2001. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  11. ^ "Andy Capasso Is Dead Of Cancer At Age 55". New York Daily News. March 15, 2001. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 

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