Christmas won't be as merry for the Genovese crime family this year. Federal agents went and opened the family's Christmas gifts early this week, a cooler filled with $51,900 in cash...and they don't have plans to give it back!

The money was allegedly collected by Local 1235 delegate Robert Ruiz from other union members as payoff for the family, which controls the Jersey waterfront. Two longshoremen tipped off the feds that Ruiz was collecting the cash. "[The informant's] understanding was that he could lose his job ... or could be killed if he did not make a payment every year at approximately Christmastime," Department of Labor special agent Jonathan Mellone stated in an affidavit.

Ruiz's big mistake though was that he gave the whole pot of cash to one of the FBI's informants to hold on to (uhm, whoops!). That informant then buried the cash in a cooler which the feds dug up before arresting Ruiz.

A lawyer for Ruiz, a union member since 1979, claims all of this is bogus ("In terms of using force to get money from someone, it just didn't happen.") and the longshoreman has been released on a $500,000 bond.