The Fed. Govt. investigation of extortion and embezzlement by the hierarchy of Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25 won its first conviction on July 1. John J. “Mick” Murray, a Local 25 member and alleged associate of fugitive organized crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, confessed that he plotted to steal up to $1 million worth of computer equipment and guns with the help of Teamster drivers working for United Parcel Service. He also confessed to exerting influence over frmr Local 25 President George Cashman to help him receive fraudulent health benefits from Local 25’s insurance plan. Murray alone took in some $35,000 in undeserved health care benefits.
Perhaps, most heinous of all, acc. to Asst. U.S. Attny. Fred Wyshak, Murray participated in a terrifying extortion scheme with Bulger lieutenant Kevin Weeks in 1994, when they hauled a bookie named Kevin Hayes into a South Boston basement for a lesson in the consequences of withholding Bulger’s rent. “The men outfitted the room for an execution. Plastic covered the floor. Freezers stood nearby and a single stool was placed under a glaring light. Wearing knuckle-baring gloves and showing off a gun in his waistband, Weeks – who became a government witness in 1999 – berated bookie Kevin Hayes and ordered him to strip in case he was wearing a wire. Another man present insisted Weeks kill Hayes. Eventually Hayes promised to fork over a $ 50,000 “fine.” He paid $10,000 in a first installment, but later pleaded that $1,000-a-week was too much. Hayes then paid Murray monthly, and continued until 1997.
Murray obtained the health benefits thanks to Cashman, who placed Murray and others on the payrolls of companies they didn’t work for, but who had collective bargaining agreements with Local 25. This made then eligible for payments from the Teamster local’s Health Services and Insurance Plan (HSIP).
Murray, who entered his plea before U.S. Dist. Judge Reginald C. Lindsay (Clinton), is the first of eight defendants, incl. Cashman, to be convicted. For his role in the 12 counts of racketeering, extortion, embezzlement and interstate transportation of stolen property, Murray could be sentenced on Oct. 29 to as much as 145 years in prison, but the U.S. Attny for the Dist. of Mass. has agreed to seek a sentence of eight years, one month.
The investigation of Local 25 continues, with the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Inspector General and Office of Labor Racketeering, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Admin., Mass. State Police and agents with the Everett Police Dept. assisting the U.S. Dist. Attny. Sullivan. Prosecuting the case against Murray, Cashman, and the six other dependents are U.S. Attnys Wyshak in Sullivan’s Organized Crime Task Force, and Theodore Chuang in Sullivan’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit. [U.S.A.O. Dist. Mass., Bos. Globe 7/2/02]