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

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Former Longshoreman gets 30 months in Genovese racketeering case

A Readington man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for conspiring to extort longshoremen on the New Jersey piers for Christmastime tribute payments.

Edward Aulisi, 53, pleaded guilty to the charges in Newark federal court on May 16, 2012.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Edward Aulisi conspired with his father, Vincent Aulisi — a former president of International Longshoremen Association Local 1235 who succeeded another co-defendant, Albert Cernadas — and Michael Coppola, a Genovese organized crime family captain, in the scheme.

Members of the Genovese family were charged with conspiring to collect “tribute” payments from New Jersey port workers at Christmastime each year through their corrupt influence over union officials, including several presidents of Local 1235.

The timing of the extortion typically coincided with the distribution of “Container Royalty Fund” checks, a form of year-end compensation, the government said.

Investigators said that Edward Aulisi was caught on tape assuring crime boss Coppola that the tribute money would continue after his father became president of the local, and in fact had doubled.

Coppola was convicted in July 2009 of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, based in part on acts relating to extortion and wire fraud concerning the Local.

Edward Aulisi admitted that, in March 2007, he spoke with Coppola by phone furthering the extortion scheme, telling him that his father would make the collections.

The younger Aulisi admitted that it had been his intention to deliver Christmastime tribute money to Coppola had Coppola not been arrested shortly after the phone calls.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh sentenced Aulisi to two years of supervised release and fined him $10,000.

Coppola is serving a 16-year prison term on his conviction.

Another local defendant in the case is Thomas Leonardis, 57, of Lebanon Township, who also served as Local 1235 president.

Pre-trial motions in the Leonardis case are set for oral argument on Feb. 12 before Judge Cavanaugh, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Matthew Reilly.

U.S. Attorneys Paul J. Fishman and Loretta E. Lynch credited the FBI in New Jersey and New York and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General with the investigation leading to Aulisi’s guilty plea.



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