Convicted Union Extortionist Insists His Bark is Worse than Bite

Although he insisted that the “bark” of his expletive-laced recordings was worse than the “bite”of his extortion of union officials and actor Steven Seagal, Primo Cassarino was sentenced to 11 yrs., 3 mos. in prison on Aug. 26.  U.S. Dist. Judge Frederic Block (East. NY, Clinton) reduced Cassarino’s sentence slightly from the 12 1/2-to- 15 yr. sentence sought by fed. prosecutors, while Cassarino’s lawyer had sought a 6 1/2-to-8 yr. sentence.


Cassarino was convicted in Mar. 2003 of being the messenger for Anthony “Sonny” Ciccone, who was also convicted of acting on behalf of the Gambino and Genovese crime families in controlling and extorting locals of the Intl. Longshoremen’s Assn. in N.Y.C.  Cassarino was also convicted of attempting to extort Seagal, the famed actor and director, into including a Gambino member in one of his films, and paying $150,000 for every ILA member he used in his films.


“I want to apologize for the foul language that was played on those tapes,” a statement by Cassarino began, as read by defense lawyer Richard Ware Levitt.  “My bark is far worse than my bite.”  But Judge Block replied, “It’s not just the language you used on those tapes. It’s the frequency with which you participated in these criminal acts.” [New York Post, 8/27/04]