Sr. U.S. Dist. Judge Leo Glasser (E.D.N.Y., Reagan) has dismissed charges that the Genovese crime family committed extortion against the Intl. Longshoremen’s Assn. (ILA) by exercising control over its elected officials.
Glasser issued his ruling in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Feb. 26 decision in Scheidler v. Natl. Org. of Women(NOW). The High Ct. ruled, 8-1, that anti-abortion protesters could not be sued for extortion under the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act. The Ct. held that sit-downs at the doors of abortion facilities, though intended to prevent legal abortions, did not constitute the taking of “property,” which NOW had defined as the right to procure and perform abortions.
In the Genovese case, Judge Glasser ruled that under the new precedent, the denial of ILA members’ right of free elections could not be considered the extortion of “obtainable property.” Consequently, U.S. Attnys. cannot bring RICO charges against Genovese head Vincent “The Chin” Gigante and seven associates for the denial of the members’ democratic rights.
Still standing are charges of defrauding the pension funds of the ILA, the Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters and the United Bhd. of Carpenters by forcing them to use a Genovese associate as their investment adviser, who allegedly kicked back fees to the crime family. [WNBC-TV 3/13/03]