The former vice president of a teamsters labor union from the Hudson Valley admitted soliciting and receiving tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from an administrator for the health care plan of his union.
Orange County resident John Ulrich, 48, of Newburgh, the former vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit and receive bribe payments to influence the operation of an employee benefit plan.
In pleading guilty, Ulrich admitted to soliciting the bribes in exchange for using his influence to ensure the union retained the healthcare provider as a client, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.
Berman said that in 2013, Ulrich solicited bribe payments from an executive with the healthcare provider of $5,000 per quarter in exchange for using his influence to maintain them as the plan’s third-party administrator.
Before Ulrich solicited the bribes, the union had issued a request for proposals for a new third-party administrator, and the healthcare provider was at risk of losing the business.
In exchange for the bribe, Ulrich said he would use his influence with the union in exchange for the bribe, which was accepted. Ulrich later demanded an increase in bribe payments and brought in co-conspirators into his bribery scheme.
In total, Ulrich was paid tens of thousands of dollars before he was terminated as vice president of the union in February 2016.
“As he admitted in court today, John Ulrich betrayed the trust of the Union members who elected him in order to line his pockets with bribe money,” Berman said. “This Office is committed to prosecuting corrupt union officials who abuse their positions of trust for their own financial benefit.”
When he is sentenced on April 23 next year, Ulrich will face up to five years in prison.