Boston Ex-Teamster Pleads Guilty to Unemployment Fraud

Teamsters logoThomas Flaherty can’t seem to stay away from trouble – or federal court.  On June 29, Flaherty, a former employee and member of the Boston-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to three counts of mail fraud in connection with state unemployment benefits that he had received while working full-time.  The plea follows a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration, plus the Boston Police Department.

According to prosecutors, Flaherty (no relation to NLPC President Peter Flaherty), now 52, a resident of Braintree, Mass., during March 2010-December 2011, while working for Teamsters Local 82, made several misrepresentations of fact so he could collect unemployment insurance benefits from the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development.  His actual gross earnings for that period were $49,890.  Yet he reported his earnings at only $10,102, in an attempt to convey the impression that he was a part-time employee and thus eligible for partial benefits.  All told, Flaherty collected $21,093 in unauthorized unemployment checks.  Sentencing is scheduled for September 24.

This isn’t Flaherty’s only brush with the law.  Back in September 2012, as Union Corruption Update reported the following month, he and three other Local 82 members – John Perry, Joseph Burhoe and James Deamicis – were indicted in Boston federal court on 30 counts of racketeering, extortion, mail fraud and other crimes in connection with a five-year intimidation campaign against exhibitors, hotel managers and other participants in Boston-area trade shows.  The “Perry Crew” conducted numerous financial shakedowns either through acts or threats of physical violence.  A jury eventually convicted Perry and Burhoe in November 2014, but could not reach a verdict on Deamicis; it acquitted Flaherty.  On the unemployment charges, at least, Flaherty’s luck has run out (Burhoe and Deamicis also were accused of unemployment fraud).  So has the luck of Teamsters Local 82.  Another Boston-area Teamsters affiliate, Local 25, took it over in late in 2011 at the behest of IBT General President James Hoffa.


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