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Press Release

Third Local 17 Member Sentenced For Extortion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that Carl Larson, 50, of Boston, NY, who was convicted of attempted extortion, was sentenced to six months in prison and one year of supervised release by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to victims.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony M. Bruce and Edward H. White, who handled the case, Larson was a member of Local 17 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. The defendant attempted to force an Orchard Park contractor and its owner to sign with Local 17 by threatening the owner personally. After the contractor’s owner was stabbed by another Local 17 member the owner asked Larson, “What are the positives [to signing with the union]? You guys slash my tires, stab me in the neck, try to beat me up in a bar. What are the positives to signing? There are only negatives.” Larson responded by telling the owner that “The positives are that the negatives you are complaining about would go away.”

Larson was one of 12 officers and members of Local 17 arrested and charged in this case. Seven defendants pleaded guilty, President Mark Kirsch was convicted at trial, four were acquitted at trial. 

The investigation of this case was handled by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Cheryl Garcia, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Regional Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Michael Cerretto.

Updated June 29, 2015