Eight former members of the International Longshoremen’s Association pleaded guilty to extortion charges. Vincent “The Vet” Aulisi, Thomas “Tommy” Leondaris, Robert “Bobby” Ruiz, Salvatore LaGrasso, Michael Nicolosi, Julio Porrao, Rocco Ferrandino, and Michael Trueba were among 15 defendants charged in a broad labor racketeering indictment relating to a scheme in which the defendants used “actual and threatened force, violence, and fear” to extort money from longshoremen’s year-end compensation from shippers using New York and New Jersey ports. Charges are still pending against three other defendants, including lead defendant Stephen Depiro. Depiro is an alleged soldier in the Genovese organized crime family who have allegedly extorted port workers for nearly 30 years.
Ronald Karr, former secretary-treasurer of IBEW Local 2359 in Sugar Grove, Ohio, was ordered to pay a fine of $4,000 and serve two years of probation by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Karr had previously pled guilty to embezzling $158,150 in union funds from January 2006 to February 2011. Karr used the money to pay for repairs to his personal vehicle, to buy a rifle, an enclosed trailer, and more than 200 purchases at Walmart. He already paid full restitution.
A former financial secretary of UAW Local 3061 in Crestline, Ohio, was ordered to serve 18 months in prison and make full restitution of the more than $150,000 she admitted embezzling from the union. The Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General conducted a joint investigation and found that Kristie McClarren used the union’s debit card to make unauthorized cash withdrawals and personal purchases. McClarren plead guilty to embezzlement on January 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.