Former ILA Local 1235 Vice President Sentenced to Federal Prison for Extortion Conspiracy Involving Christmastime Tribute Payments
January 8, 2015
The former Vice President of ILA Local 1235 and longshore supervisor was sentenced to 8 months in prison today for conspiring to extort others in Local 1235 of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) for Christmastime tribute payments.
Michael Trueba, 79, of Kearny, New Jersey, a former supervisor on the New Jersey piers – previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi on May 28, 2014 to conspiring to extort Christmastime tributes from the union members. Judge Cecchi imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. During his guilty plea, Trueba admitted to conspiring with Maher Terminal head timekeeper Rocco Ferrandino 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. Trueba, the former vice president of ILA Local 1235, was suspended from his position on the waterfront by the Waterfront Commission following his arrest in this case.
Sentencing is still pending against Rocco Ferrandino and three other codefendants in the supereceding indictment. Also awaiting sentence are Genovese soldier Stephen DePiro, and former ILA union officials Albert Cernadas, Sr. and Nunzio LaGrasso. Since at least 2005, Depiro has managed the Genovese family’s control over the New Jersey waterfront – including the nearly three-decades-long extortion of port workers in ILA Local 1, ILA Local 1235 and ILA Local 1478. Members of the Genovese family, including Depiro, have conspired to collect tribute payments from New Jersey port workers at Christmastime each year through their corrupt influence over union officials, including the last three presidents of Local 1235.