The indictment filed against more than 100 alleged mobsters arrested in a three-state sweep Thursday morning describes a scam used on the New York and New Jersey waterfront.
Three accused Cosa Nostra members would turn up before Christmas, when workers from the International Longshoreman’s Association receive a check from the “container royalty fund”–a sort of year-end bonus for union members. According to the indictment, workers’ payments to the alleged mobster were “induced by wrongful use of actual and threatened force, violence and fear.”
In other words: extortion. The indictment cites incidents going back to 1982, making this scheme a holiday fixture over nearly three decades.
“It’s tradition on the waterfront,” said Ronald Goldstock, a member of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, which is tasked with countering the influence of organized crime on the docks. “If you want to work there — if you want the good assignments or overtime — you kick back the Christmas check to the people who allow you to work there.”
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