Crane Mechanic Removed From Waterfront for Association with Three Organized Crime Figures and Multiple Acts of Fraud, Deceit, or Misrepresentation
June 22, 2021
Today, the Waterfront Commission unanimously revoked the temporary registration of Robert T. Larsen as a maintenance man (crane mechanic). The Commission also denied Larsen’s application for permanent inclusion in the longshore register. The Commission’s decision followed a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who found that Larsen violated the Waterfront Commission Act by associating with the following organized crime figures and career offenders:
Vito Balsamo, a member of the Bonanno crime family. The ALJ noted that Balsamo had been identified as a crime family soldier and acting captain convicted of the racketeering activity of Conspiracy to Collect Unlawful Debts with the threat of violence and intimidation. The ALJ noted that Applicant had communicated with Balsamo via text messages and phone calls beginning in 2017 or 2018.
Vincent (Vinny Green) Faraci, a member of the Bonanno crime family. The ALJ noted that “Faraci has been identified on multiple occasions as an organized crime figure through either his conspiracy with the Crazy Horse Too strip club,” resulting in a conviction for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States – Tax Fraud, “or his status as a Bonanno crime family soldier.” The ALJ found that Larsen sent text messages to Faraci in 2015 to 2020.
Louis (Louie) Saccenti, an associate of the Gambino crime family. The ALJ noted that Saccenti was “identified as a key figure in the Gambino crime family’s control over waterfront jobs.” In the 1990’s, Saccenti was an official of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) who acted on the behest of Gambino captain Anthony Ciccone. In 1998, the Waterfront Commission revoked Saccenti’s registration as a checker on the ports “for associating with 38 organized crime figures, lacking good character and integrity, and committing multiple acts of fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation.” In 2006, in Brooklyn Federal Court, Saccenti was convicted of perjury in relation to false testimony before a grand jury investigating the Gambino crime family’s control and influence over the Brooklyn and Staten Island shipping terminals. Saccenti is now on the ILA Barred List, “a non-exhaustive list of persons with whom all port workers who are members of the ILA are barred from associating.” The ALJ found that Larsen had associated with Saccenti by attending Saccenti’s birthday party, meeting with Saccenti on multiple occasions at a club owned by Saccenti’s friends, joining Saccenti at the Golden Gloves boxing competition in Staten Island, parking his car next to Saccenti’s home for weeks at a time, delivering a check for $800 to Saccenti at Saccenti’s home, helping Saccenti sell tickets to an event, delivering food to Saccenti, and dining with Saccenti. The ALJ noted that the frequency of the association had increased in the months preceding his sworn interview before the Commission.
The ALJ noted that “[t]he number of [Cosa Nostra] organized crime figures with whom the Applicant has decided to associate demonstrates a significant risk and perception of corruption.” The ALJ further pointed out that Larsen holds a sensitive position on the waterfront as a mechanic “responsible for maintaining cranes that are necessary for moving cargo containers onto and off of ships.” The ALJ noted Larsen’s significant income ($430,000 in 2020) and his job’s “flexibility to be away from the pier for significant periods of time. Rather than work all day as a mechanic, he is ‘on the clock’ and compensated while away from the terminal to take showers and while traveling back and forth between New Jersey and Staten Island to deliver lunch for co-workers.” The ALJ explained that “the ports rely on mechanics like [Larsen] for their financial vitality. If compromised by organized crime, [Larsen] threatens that vitality.”
The ALJ further found that Larsen had committed multiple acts of fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation on a sworn application and during a sworn interview before the Commission in response to questions related to the three organized crime figures. The ALJ concluded that these “acts of fraud or the risk or perception of corruption resulting from his associations with two Bonanno crime family members and a Gambino associate on the ILA barred list” demonstrate that he poses a “danger to the public peace or safety.” Today, the Commission adopted the ALJ’s findings and ordered the immediate revocation of Larsen’s temporary registration as a maintenance man and the denial of Larsen’s application for permanent inclusion in the longshore register.