The Capitol – News from Albany, New York

Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 2, 1996

Vacco Nabs Bootleg Disc Dealers

Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco today announced the seizure of thousands of counterfeit and illegal compact discs, cassette and video tapes as a result of early morning raids on two popular Greenwich Village record stores and a Queens warehouse.

The raids and seizures are the result of an eight-month investigation into music bootlegging by the Attorney General’s office and investigators from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Andre Grabowicz and Gladys Caporali, record store, warehouse and mail-order business owner and operators, were arrested and charged with manufacturing, selling and distributing bootleg tapes, CDs and video tapes. The charges are Class E felonies.

“Illegal recordings rob not only the artists of their royalties, but ultimately pass along increased costs to fans. Everybody in the musical chain gets hurt, from artists, to the studio musicians, to engineers, to the fans,” Attorney General Vacco said.

RIAA estimates that less than 20 percent of recordings turn a profit. This profit margin is where the industry finds the funds that support the recordings of emerging artists and non-mainstream genres. The recordings represented in the profitable 20 percent are those most heavily bootlegged.

The arrests took place at Second Coming Records located at 231 Sullivan Street in Manhattan. Additionally, it is alleged that a mail-order bootleg business is run by the owner of Second Coming Records, Andre Grabowicz, who stocks Second Coming Records with bootleg merchandise from his Jackson Heights warehouse.

Grabowicz is alleged to be aided in the running of the mail-order business by Gladys Caporali. The business is alleged to be operated from both the warehouse and from Caporali’s Queens home.

Revolver Records located at 45 West 8th Street, is independent from Second Coming Records and is being treated as a separate case. The store sells both legitimate and bootleg recordings, but their main business is bootleg compact discs.

It is alleged that the West 8th Street store also failed to charge or collect sales tax, according to the State Department of Taxation and Finance. Additionally, there is no record of Revolver Records having filed any sales tax returns. As a result of this alleged failure to charge and collect tax, the Tax Department referred the case to the Attorney General’s office.

New York State Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco (left) discusses the raid at Second Coming Records on July 2, 1996, located in New York City’s Greenwich Village, with Hootie & the Blowfish manager, Rusty Harmon (center) and Hootie’s lawyer, Richard Gusler (right).
Photo: GrayZone, Inc. © 1996
Hootie & the Blowfish attorney, Richard Gussler, stands outside Second Coming Records in New York City’s Greenwich Village, after a press conference given by New York State Attorney General, Dennis C. Vacco and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on July 2, 1996. Photo: GrayZone, Inc. © 1996

Update: See the GrayZone July/August 1997 Digest for the follow-up to this event.

For information contact:
Margot O. Pagan
(518) 473-5525
(212) 416-8060

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