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

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Genovese soldier who ran the New Jersey waterfront sentenced to more than three years in federal prison

Former NJ union chief gets 22 months for Mafia-linked scam
A reputed Genovese crime family soldier who prosecutors say ran the mob's business on the New Jersey waterfront for decades was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison Friday.
Stephen Depiro, 59, of Kenilworth, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in December for his role in a decades-long scheme to extort Christmastime tribute payments from members of the International Longshoremen's Association.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Claire Cecchi sentenced Depiro to three years and five months in prison.
Depiro declined Cecchi's offer to speak on his own behalf.
His attorney, Alyssa Cimino, said her client was a devoutly religious man who attends church every Sunday and would go more often if the conditions of his home confinement while he's out on bail were less restrictive.
Cimino said Depiro called her office regularly asking if he could visit a 90-year-old aunt.
"I want to bring her escarole and beans," Cimino quoted Depiro saying.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Mahajan mocked the suggestion that Depiro was singularly devoted to his immediate family.
"He is very loyal to his family, the Genovese organized crime family," Mahajan said.
Mahajan told Cecchi about dockworkers who lied to a federal grand jury about the tribute practice because they feared retribution by organized crime.
He said the extortion plot was a piece in the organized crimes's widespread influence on the New Jersey docks that forced many businesses to divert their cargo to other ports.
"That is one of the reasons why Port Newark is no longer the thriving hub of international commerce that it once was," Mahajan told Cecchi.
Depiro joins a long list of people who've admitted their roles in the Christmastime payment scheme, a practice that dates back to when the ports began using containers as the principal means of moving goods through the ports.
The FBI investigation revealed how the payments came out of the annual bonuses dockworkers received based on the number of containers that moved through Port Newark and Port Elizabeth in a given year.
Several of those who've pleaded guilty are in the 60's and 70's and have long since retired from work on the docks.
Among them is Nunzio LaGrasso, 64, of Florham Park. The former vice president of Local 1478 of the International Longshoremen's Association in Newark was sentenced to two years and four months in prison Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors say LaGrasso was an associate of the Genovese crime family.



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