Did Hoffa and other top Teamster officials rig the bidding on contracts with Teamster benefit funds and take employers gifts and payoffs? Corruption investigators are in federal court to find out the answer.
A federal court has approved subpoenas for payments made by insurance brokers and benefit providers to top Teamster officials allied with General President Hoffa.
The Independent Investigations Officer is investigating whether luxury outings by Hoffa administration officials and consultants were a gift from Charles Bertucio, an investment firm owner and insurance broker who was paid by health insurance corporations to land business with Teamster benefit funds.
Bertucio made himself rich off of his relationship with Teamster officials and used golf trips, sports tickets and other gifts to land lucrative insurance business with Teamster benefit funds until he was banned from having business or social contact with any Teamster.
Hoffa administration officials are under investigation for rigging the bidding for contracts with a Teamster benefit fund in Bertucio’s favor—and then taking unreported gifts from the grateful broker.
When Bertucio submitted a substandard bid to the VEBA Trust, a fund covering over 20,000 Teamsters, disgraced former International Union Vice President Rome Aloise and Hoffa’s former Chief of Staff Willie Smith shared inside information with Bertucio so he could restructure his bid, charge as much as possible, and still land the business.
Bertucio landed the account and three months later, he took Hoffa, Smith, and others on a golf trip to Scotland to play at St Andrews.
Trips and Gifts
That trip is a drop in the bucket based on the declaration filed in the court by the Independent Investigations Officer.
Court documents detail a list of luxury outings taken by Hoffa administration officials with Bertucio, including a trip to Ireland, golf outings in Florida, Alaska, and South Carolina, golf equipment, and lavish meals at high end restaurants in Las Vegas and Chicago, where officials dined at $600 a head.
Disgraced former International Union Vice Presidents Rome Aloise and John Coli have already been removed from the union for taking illegal employer gifts—and Bertucio has been barred from any contact with Teamster officials.
The IIO is now expanding its corruption probe to look at payments between a web of health insurance companies tied to Bertucio and top Hoffa administration officials and consultants.
IIO attorneys filed an application in federal court to subpoena payment records from banks, insurance brokers and healthcare providers to Hoffa, Ken Hall, Willie Smith, Rome Aloise, David Laughton, Kevin Moore, Steve Mack, John Murphy, Bill Hamilton, John Coli, Jack Cipriani, Geoffrey Hoffa, Richard Leebove, Greg Tarpinian, and others.
The investigation centers on whether top Teamster officials received and covered up employer gifts—and whether the bids were rigged for contracts with Teamster benefit funds.
Court documents, including the application for subpoenas, are available here.
Corruption Helps the Union-Busters
“Hoffa’s corruption is pure gold to union-busters and anti-union employers. They use these scandals to attack our union.
“If you want to scam workers and line your pockets, go work for the employers.
“In TDU, we’re organizing to elect the leadership we deserve, from our local unions to the IBT.”
Frank Halstead, Local 572, Los Angeles Co-chair, TDU International Steering Committee