Fed Prosecutors Charge Alleged New Jersey Mobsters with Extortion

In what sounds like a scene from a gangster movie or the television show “The Sopranos,” alleged mobsters with nicknames like Junior Lollipops, Baby Fat Larry, the Claw, and Beach have been charged with a long litany of crimes. A massive 143-page indictment charging alleged Mafia activity, including extortion of New Jersey dockworkers, was unsealed recently in a Newark federal court, part of what prosecutors called an “old-style Mafia shakedown.” In all, more than 120 alleged members of various crime families from different states were charged, ranging from mob foot soldiers all the way up to mob bosses. It’s been called “the biggest federal mob takedown in history.”

Also charged were current and former officials in the International Longshoremen’s Association, the dockworkers’ union. They are accused of extorting “Christmas tribute” money from union members. This goes beyond mere white collar crime, as they are accused of using “actual and threatened force, violence and fear” to collect the “tributes,” which prosecutors describe as mob kickbacks.

Other charges in the huge indictment include murder, loan sharking, drug trafficking, racketeering conspiracy and illegal gambling. Some of the alleged crimes go way back. The dockworker “tributes” have allegedly been going on for as long as 30 years. A 1981 double murder in a bar in Queens is also included in the indictment.

Prosecutors said that members of several New York, New Jersey, and New England families were all charged in this roundup. The combined allegations make up a serious list of charges that come with serious consequences.

Source: nj.com, “Federal officials unveil massive indictment against N.J. defendants in mob takedown,” Jason Grant, Dec. 16, 2011

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