Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Flemington man pleads guilty to role in mafia extortion scheme

In a Christmastime scheme allegedly involving the mafia and maritime union leaders, a Flemington man admitted his role today in conspiring to extort money from longshoremen for a notorious crime family, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of New Jersey.
Edward Aulisi, 52, pleaded guilty to conspiring with members of the Genovese organized crime family, and former leaders of the International Longshoreman's Association (ILA) Local 1235, to force ILA workers to make Christmastime payments to the crime family, often by "use of actual and threatened force, violence and fear," according to court records.
Aulisi is one of 14 defendants named in a 103-count indictment detailing an operation that spanned decades, from Dec. 1982 to Jan. 2011. This indictment superseded and added charges to a previous indictment, according to court records.
In December, Aulisi was named on count three of the indictment, extortion conspiracy, under the Hobbs Act, a federal law used to combat racketeering in labor cases, according to the indictment. Aulisi's father, Vincent Aulisi, former ILA president, and Thomas Leonardis, 54, of Glen Gardner, are also among the defendants charged in the indictment. Leonardis was also named on count three of the indictment, as well as 17 counts of extortion. In addition to count three, Vincent Aulisi faces 11 counts of extortion, court records show.
Today in Newark federal court, Aulisi admitted to participating in telephone conversations that secured the continuation of a long-running scheme to extort thousands of dollars from ILA longshoreman working on New Jersey piers, according to the release. In March 2007, Aulisi told Genovese family captain Michael Coppola that the tradition of Christmastime tributes would continue and double under his father's presidency, according to the release. At the time, Coppola was wanted on a 1996 summons to provide DNA in a murder case in New Jersey, the release says.
Aulisi intended to deliver the Christmastime collections, but Coppola was arrested shortly after these telephone conversations, according to the release. Coppola was convicted in 2009, and is currently serving a 16-year prison term.
Today's guilty plea carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine, according to the release. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 4. 
Aulisi's attorney, Robert Lytle, did not immediately return calls. 



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