The last remaining case from the large New York mafia take down nearly four years ago is set to end with multiple plea deals. Genovese crime family soldier Stephen Depiro along with two former International Longshoremen’s executives have agreed to plea deals for racketeering and extortion conspiracy charges. They were involved in a scheme run by Genovese family to collect “Christmas tribute” payments from hard working longshoremen in excessive of $3 Million dollars dating all way back to early 1980’s. It has been a long running tradition for union controlled thugs to collect these mob Christmas tribute extortion payments from workers bonus checks known as “container royalty fund” checks.
Depiro took over the waterfront shakedown scheme back in 2005 after former Genovese soldier Lawrence Ricci was whacked. Ricci was targeted for death by one time powerful Genovese capo Tino Fiumara who died of cancer back in 2010 who then appointed Depiro in his place. The feds began the current case into the Christmas tribute scheme after mob capo Michael “Mikey Cigars” Coppola was caught on a secret recording with a union member about the scheme and its history.
Prosecutors also had taped conversations recorded back in 1998 between Fiumara and Depiro linking Depiro to the extortion payoffs. Court filings also show that prosecutors had lined up more then 25 longshoremen who had agreed to testify about the payments being made which often were made unwillingly under a threat of violence. The payments which were often up to $2000 per longshoremen were collected by mobbed up union officials and then passed along to Depiro and other Genovese family mobsters.
Santa’s bag of gifts is sure to be a little smaller this year for the Genovese family.