Racketeering Conviction Upheld

The U.S. 3rd Cir. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld the racketeering and bribery conviction Nov. 5 of Louis Parise, Jr., the son of ousted Nat. Maritime Union boss, Louis Parise, Sr.  Parise, Jr., faces a 30-month federal prison sentence after being found guilty of delivering cash to union bosses so that they would refer injured seafarers to a lawyer working with the family. Parise, Sr., is serving a 56-month sentence in a federal prison role in the scheme and for embezzling union funds. Parise, Jr.’s, brother, Robert, is due for sentencing in Feb. after he pled guilty to embezzlement last year. He was accused of running a fake NMU local in Miami that diverted tens of thousands of dollars in union funds. In the bribery scheme, Parise, Sr., paid union port agents to refer injured seafarers to Bernard Sacks, a Philadelphia attorney, who gave 5% of the resulting fees to Parise, Sr. Parise, Jr., worked for  Sacks and traveled to ports delivering cash to the agents and telling them that Sacks was NMU’s official attorney.

The Parise convictions represent a ground-breaking use of a state commercial bribery statute, said Timothy R. Rice, the federal prosecutor. The statute was a key tool for prosecutors because it made possible additional
federal charges under the Racketeer Influenced, Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). It gives prosecutors a “significant tool in combating union corruption nationwide,” he said. [Journal of Commerce 11/6/98]