Allen Dorfman

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Allen Michael Dorfman
Born (1923-01-06)6 January 1923
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died 20 January 1983(1983-01-20) (aged 60)
Lincolnwood, Illinois, U.S.
Ethnicity Jewish[1]

Allen Dorfman (January 6, 1923, Detroit, Michigan – January 20, 1983 Lincolnwood, Illinois) was an insurance agency owner, and a consultant to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Central States Pension Fund. He was a close associate of longtime IBT President Jimmy Hoffa and associated with the Chicago Outfit. Dorfman was convicted on several felony counts, and was violently murdered in 1983.

Early years[edit]

Allen Dorfman was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1923 to a working class family and attended Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois. He enlisted in the US Marines and won a Silver Star at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Crime writer Nicholas Pileggi and Dan Moldea describe Allen as having an athletic build and premature grey hair and dapper looking. He attended the University of Illinois and taught physical education there. He was the stepson of Paul "Red" Dorfman, who was head of the Chicago Waste Handler's Union and a kingpin in the Chicago Outfit.[2] Chicago Outfit mob boss was heard discussing Dorfman with a subordinate saying, "Allen [Dorfman] is not that type of guy, but the people that got a piece of him are that type of guy. Allen is meek and Allen is harmless. But the people behind him are not meek and they are not harmless." Allen's stepfather Paul had troubles with the AFL-CIO when he was caught taking funds out of the union's health and welfare reservoir, and, among other things, started paying personal bills with the membership money. Dorfman was only one of two trustees on the fund. In addition, his father had deposited $150,000 of health and welfare money into a bank owned by a friend, George Sax, who did not pay a cent of interest. The committee learned that Sax was the owner of the Saxony Motel in Miami, Florida which was a meeting place for Hoffa, Dorfman, Robert Shulman and others when they were visiting southern Florida. Through mobster Santo Perrone, Jimmy Hoffa met Allen's father Paul Dorfman. Dorfman and Perrone had done business together through Dorfman's controlled Chicago Scrap Handlers' Union. Through Paul Dorfman, Allen drew alliance with Joey Glimco, Paul DeLucia and Sam Giancana. In early 1949, Hoffa set up the Michigan Conference of the Teamsters' Welfare Fund. In 1951, he persuaded the funds two trustees, Frank Fitzsimmons and employer delegate to move the fund to the newly formed Chicago branch of Union Casualty Agency. The branch was owned by Dorfman's wife, Allen's mother Rosemary "Rose", and Allen, despite Allen having no experience in the insurance business. Solicited by Paul Dorfman, the New York parent company gave Allen his start in the lucrative industry and helped set up the Chicago branch. Through his stepfather, Allen met Hoffa and Local 337's president, Owen Bert Brennan. When Union Casualty received fiduciary responsibility for the Michigan Conference Fund, Hoffa had already created a larger welfare fund, the Central States Health and Welfare Fund, which had also given its business to Union Casualty. The two fund accounts made up 90 percent of the branch company's contracts. During the first eight years of fiduciary management by Union Casualty the Dorfmans made more than three million in commissions and service fees. In one instance, Allen took $51, 462 in premiums and simply deposited it in a special account which he maintained with his mother. There were no complaints from the Teamsters. He and his wife, Lynn, were the parents of four children: James, Michael, David and Kim.[3]

Teamsters' leader[edit]

In 1949, Allen Dorfman formed the Union Insurance Agency and obtained a contract to provide health and welfare insurance for the Teamsters Central States union. The contract soon extended to sickness and accident insurance. In 1959, Dorfman became the subject of an investigation by the McClellan Committee regarding the excessive fees paid by the Teamsters to Dorfman's company. The Committee suspected that large cash withdrawals from the business were actually kickbacks to Jimmy Hoffa. During the late 1950s, Dorfman got involved in approving loans for the Teamster's Central States Pension Fund. Many of these loans were real estate loans to associates of high-ranking Teamster members or to organized crime connected casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1963, Dorfman was indicted in the same Chattanooga, Tennessee jury-fixing case that sent Hoffa to prison. However, Dorfman was acquitted in the case. After Hoffa went to prison in 1967, Dorfman took control of the Central States Pension fund. Among the loans he later made was a $160 million loan to Argent Corporation, which owned a group of casinos, including the Stardust Resort & Casino. The casinos at that time were infiltrated by organized crime and were being heavily skimmed. A number of organized crime members were later convicted in the case. By 1977, Dorfman had lost control of the pension fund due to the implementation of ERISA and more outside control of the fund.[4]

Dorfman rose to prominence during labour unrest following World War II, and by the late 1950s was a close cohort of IBT President Jimmy Hoffa. Dorfman's rise coincided with enormous expansion in Teamsters' ranks, along with spectacular growth in the union's pension funds, which eventually came largely under Dorfman's administration. The "Test Fleet" prosecution brought against Hoffa by the Justice Department, then headed by US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy resulted in a hung jury in December 1962. Dorfman, along with other Hoffa allies, was investigated and charged with jury tampering. Dorfman was acquitted in the case, but Jimmy Hoffa, was found guilty of this crime in 1964. After a lengthy appeals process Hoffa went to prison in 1967.

Embezzlement conviction[edit]

Alleged ties to organized crime dogged Dorfman during his time as a Teamsters' leader, as he was the stepson of the Chicago-based gangster Paul "Red" Dorfman. Dorfman, based mostly in Chicago, was eventually indicted, along with several other Teamsters' leaders, for embezzlement from the union pension fund, in 1970.[5] Dorfman and Hoffa ran for several years a large-scale program of unsecured loans from Teamsters' pension funds to major figures in organized crime.[6] This prosecution resulted in his conviction, and Allen Dorfman was sentenced to one year in federal prison.[7] He was again investigated in 1973 on similar charges, related to payoffs given to have the Teamsters represent agricultural workers in California, in place of the United Farm Workers Union.[8]

In February 1974, Dorfman was indicted for fraud involving $1.4 million in loans made by the Teamster's pension fund to Gaylur Products/American Pail Company, a plastics manufacturing company in Deming, New Mexico. Indicted along with Dorfman were Joseph Lombardo (aka “Joey the Clown”), Anthony Spilotro (aka "The Ant"), Irwin Weiner, and several others. Between 1959 and 1969 the Central States Pension Fund Plan the loans had gone unpaid. But in 1971, Irwin Weiner a prominent bailbondsman, organized crime associate and friend of Jack Ruby had purchased stock in the company and received another $1.4 million loan from the fund with a mere $7000 deposit. The government's case collapsed after their main witness, Daniel Seifert, was murdered in September 1974 and the defendants were either acquitted or dropped from the indictment. (Lombardo was convicted of Seifert's murder in 2007 as a result of Operation Family Secrets.)[9][10][11]

Violent death[edit]

In 1979, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched "Operation Pendorf" (for penetration of Allen Dorfman). The FBI installed hidden microphones in the office of Dorfman's insurance agency. As a result of information obtained from the wiretaps, a federal grand jury in Chicago indicted Dorfman and four others in May 1981.[12] Dorfman was subsequently convicted in December 1982, along with Teamsters' president Roy Lee Williams and Chicago Outfit enforcer Joseph Lombardo, for conspiring to bribe Howard Cannon, the Democratic Senator from Nevada. Three days before his sentencing, scheduled for January 23, 1983, he was murdered outside the Purple Hotel parking lot in Lincolnwood, Illinois. Described as a gangland-style execution, the murder was presumably intended to keep him from cooperating with authorities to avoid a possible 55-year prison sentence. He was with longtime friend Irwin Weiner, a known associate of many Chicago mob figures. Weiner was not injured in the incident.[13][14]

In popular culture[edit]

The character of "Andy Stone" (played by Alan King) in the 1995 film Casino was based upon Dorfman.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Langer, Adam (November 11, 2011). "'Love and Shame and Love' by Peter Orner". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  2. ^ "Allen Dorfman Built Wealth Through Teamster Contracts" New York Times January 21, 1983
  3. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1983/01/21/us/allen-dorfman-built-wealth-through-teamster-contacts.html
  4. ^ The Teamsters; by Steven Brill; 1978 Simon and Schuster, New York, New York ISBN 0-671-22771-8
  5. ^ "Hoffa Union Associate Indicted Over Kickback", Los Angeles Times, Jul 15, 1971. abstract
  6. ^ Hoffa, by Arthur A. Sloane, 1991, MIT Press.
  7. ^ "Allen Dorfman Is Given Year in Prison, Fined in Teamster Fund Case." The Wall Street Journal, Apr 27, 1972 abstract
  8. ^ "The Spokesman-Review – Jul 14, 1973". News.google.com. July 14, 1973. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/hsca/reportvols/vol9/pdf/HSCA_Vol9_5Fxv_Weiner.pdf
  10. ^ "DeAngeles among three acquitted by U. S. jury" Deming Headlight (Deming, New Mexico) April 17, 1975 http://newspaperarchive.com/Content/Mysite.aspx?Site=274412&cboCountry=co7&cboState=st66
  11. ^ "Joey 'the Clown' Lombardo Sentenced to Life" February 2, 2009 chicago breaking news http://archive.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/02/joey-the-clown-lombardo-sentence-life.html
  12. ^ Bringing down the mob: the war against the American Mafia By Thomas A. Reppetto; Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 978-0-8050-7802-2
  13. ^ "Dorfman slain in parking lot", The Milwaukee Journal, Jan. 21, 1983 [1] article]
  14. ^ "Clues tie Mob to Dorfman killing", Pittsburgh Press, Jan. 25, 1983 article
  • Frank Ragano, "Mob Lawyer." New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1994. pp. 94–95, 197–198, 235, 256–259, 308.

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