Boston Teamster Boss, Accomplice Plead Guilty

Thomas Disilva pled guilty on April 18 to helping Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25 president George Cashman defraud the union’s benefit plan, and using the union’s pension funds for extortion.  Faced with Disilva’s cooperation and testimony at his trial set to begin April 28, Cashman pled guilty to both charges as well.

Cashman and Disilva were originally indicted on Jan. 16, 2002, for allegedly arranging the placement of 19 non-employees on the payroll of Disilva’s companies, thus robbing Local 25’s Health Services and Insurance Plan of $72,000 from 1992-2001.  More recently, the two were indicted on March 13 for extorting payments to Disilva after Cardinal Health Inc. refused to pay $100,000 to Disilva in exchange for Cashman settling a suit over Cardinal’s obligation to the Local 25 pension fund.  Cashman admitted to receiving $20,000 in the extortion case

Cashman is still under federal investigation for allegations that he used threats and violence to control labor terms on movie sets in Massachusetts.  But he will not be required to cooperate with prosecutors under his plea agreement.  Cashman is expected to be sentenced to a prison term of 2&1/2 to 3 years, when he could have faced up to 8 years in prison if he had been convicted at his trial.  Under the terms of Disilva’s plea agreement, one of his companies — Hutchinson Industries — will pay restitution to Local 25 and be subject to a fine, which the U.S. Attny. for Mass. has recommended be $100,000.  Disilva’s formal sentencing will be on July 31. [U.S.A.O. MA 4/18/03: Boston Globe, 4/19/03, 4/25/03: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 4/25/03]