From The NY/NJ Waterfront Commission
Longshoremen Plead Guilty To Extortion Conspiracy Involving Christmastime Tribute Payments
May 21, 2014
NEWARK, N.J. - Three former longshoremen admitted today that they conspired to extort others in Local 1235 of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) for Christmastime tribute payments, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch announced.
Salvatore LaGrasso, 58, of Edison, N.J.; Michael Nicolosi, 45, of Staten Island, N.Y.; and Julio Porrao, 71, of Palm Coast, Fla. – all former supervisors on the New Jersey piers – pleaded guilty today to conspiring to extort Christmastime tributes from the union members – count three of the second superseding indictment against them. LaGrasso, Nicolosi and Porrao entered their guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
During their guilty plea proceedings, LaGrasso, Nicolosi and Porrao admitted that they conspired with each other and others to compel tribute payments from ILA union members, who made the payments based on actual and threatened force, violence and fear. The timing of the extortions typically coincided with the receipt by certain ILA members of “Container Royalty Fund” checks, a form of year-end compensation. LaGrasso and Nicolosi were suspended from their positions following their arrests in this case. Porrao had already retired from his employment on the New Jersey piers at the time of his arrest.
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