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Union Pension Fund Suit Settled

November 11, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Labor Department said Tuesday that it has reached final settlement of a major 10-year-old lawsuit against former trustees of the Teamsters Union Central States Pension Fund, extending court-imposed safeguards and awarding more than $4 million in restitution.

The settlement was approved by U.S. District Judge James B. Moran in Chicago, department officials said. It brings the government's recoveries in the Teamsters' Central States cases to more than $21.5 million since 1982.

"This settlement will ensure organized crime is not able to infiltrate that fund, and will ensure that assets of that fund will continue to grow with safeguards the court has imposed," said George R. Salem, the department's chief legal officer.

The pension fund is the largest multi-employer pension fund in the nation, with assets in excess of $8 billion, Salem said. It has 500,000 participants and beneficiaries.

The Labor Department filed suit in 1978, charging that fund trustees in the mid-1970s violated federal pension laws by making a series of imprudent investments, including some in casinos.

Under the settlement, the former trustees' insurers will pay the pension fund $3.85 million by the end of the year. The trustees themselves are to pay another $175,000 from their own assets.

Among the defendants are Teamsters President Jackie Presser and imprisoned former Teamsters President Roy L. Williams.

The defendants agreed to court-imposed restraints against future involvement in pension and welfare funds. Court approval is required for any pension fund trustee appointed in the future.

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