Allen Michael Dorfman
|Died||20 January 1983 (aged 60)|
Allen Dorfman (January 6, 1923 – January 20, 1983) 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 organized crime via the Chicago Outfit. Dorfman was convicted on several felony counts, and was murdered in 1983.
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 journalist Dan Moldea describe Allen as having an athletic build and premature grey hair and a stylish appearance. He attended the University of Illinois and taught physical education there. He and his wife, Lynn, were the parents of four children: James, Michael, David and Kim.
Allen Dorfman was the stepson of Paul "Red" Dorfman, the head of the Chicago Waste Handler's Union and a kingpin in the Chicago Outfit. Allen's stepfather Paul had troubles with the AFL-CIO when he was caught taking funds out of the labor 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. 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 had met Paul Dorfman. Dorfman and Perrone had done business together through the 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 two trustees of the fund, Frank Fitzsimmons and employer delegate to move the fund to the newly formed Chicago branch of Union Casualty Agency. The branch was owned by Paul Dorfman's wife, Allen's mother Rosemary "Rose", and by Allen. This was despite the fact that Allen had no experience in the insurance business.
Solicited by Paul Dorfman, the New York parent company gave Allen his start in the lucrative labor 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 $3 million in commissions and service fees. In one instance, Allen took $51,462 in premiums and simply deposited it in a special account that he maintained with his mother, with no complaints from the Teamsters.
Allen Dorfman was apparently well respected by the mob. A Chicago Outfit mob boss was once 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."
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, a US Senate group investigating potential crimes and improprieties in the US labor movement. Dorfman came under scrutiny 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 profits were being heavily skimmed and paid to organized crime. 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 Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and subsequent increases in outside control of the fund.
Dorfman rose to prominence during labor 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.
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. Dorfman and Hoffa ran for several years a large-scale program of unsecured loans from Teamsters' pension funds to major figures in organized crime.[page needed] This prosecution resulted in his conviction, and Allen Dorfman was sentenced to one year in federal prison. 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.
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 $7,000 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.)
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.[page needed] Dorfman was subsequently convicted in December 1982, along with Teamsters' president Roy Lee Williams and Chicago Outfit enforcer Joseph Lombardo, of conspiring to bribe Howard Cannon, the Democratic Senator from Nevada.
Three days before his sentencing, scheduled for January 23, 1983, Allen Dorfman was murdered outside the Lincolnwood Hyatt 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.
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- Joseph B. Treaster (January 21, 1983). "Allen Dorfman Built Wealth Through Teamster Contacts". The New York Times.
- The Teamsters; by Steven Brill; 1978 Simon & Schuster, New York, New York ISBN 0-671-22771-8
- "Hoffa Union Associate Indicted Over Kickback", Los Angeles Times, Jul 15, 1971. abstract
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- Bringing down the mob: the war against the American Mafia, Thomas A. Reppetto; Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 978-0-8050-7802-2
- "Dorfman slain in parking lot". The Milwaukee Journal. January 21, 1983. p. 17.
- "Clues tie Mob to Dorfman killing". The Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 25, 1983. p. 5.
- Frank Ragano, "Mob Lawyer". New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1994. pp. 94–95, 197–198, 235, 256–259, 308.
- Pileggi, Nicholas, Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas, ISBN 0-684-80832-3
- "Allen Dorfman". Find a Grave. Retrieved June 21, 2015.