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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Former boss of longshoremen union sentenced in Genovese shakedown scheme

The former vice president of a New Jersey longshoremen's union was sentenced to more than two years in prison Wednesday for his role in extorting Christmastime kickbacks from dockworkers.
Nunzio LaGrasso, 64, of Florham Park, pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering conspiracy charge in December 2014.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Claire Cecchi sentenced LaGrasso to two years and four months in prison, five months less than what New Jersey federal prosecutors were seeking.
New Jersey federal prosecutors say LaGrasso, the former vice president of Newark-based Local 1478 of the International Longshoremen's Association, doubled as an associate of the Genovese organized crime family.
"This is a conscious decision that Mr. LaGrasso made to further the aims of the Genovese crime family," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis told Cecchi.
The Christmastime payments came out of the annual bonuses dockworkers received , which hinged in large part on the number of shipping containers that moved through the Port of New York and New Jersey.
"He had numerous opportunities to cease his unlawful conduct."
LaGrasso's attorney, Edmund Denoia, urged Cecchi to consider his client's ailing health as well as his devotion to his 90-year-old mother.
Denoia said he got a measure of his client by listening to six months' worth of government-recorded conversations, many of which centered on LaGrasso's family life.
"This guy is the best," Denoia told Cecchi. "This man is a true family man."
Cecchi credited LaGrasso for the hours he spends caring for his mother and other family members. But, she noted, LaGrasso had a chance to put an end to his illegal activity.
"He had numerous opportunities to cease his unlawful conduct but did not do so," Cecchi said.
Several other members of the longshoremen's union have already pleaded guilty to their role in the scheme. In October 2014, Vincent Aulisi, 82, the former president of Local 1235 of the ILA was sentenced to 18 months in prison.



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