His future’s on the rocks.
The ex-vice president of a Teamsters union that reps beverage industry workers took tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from a health plan administrator, federal prosecutors charged Thursday.
John Ulrich, who served as the vice president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812 and a trustee of the union’s health plan, began soliciting the bribes in 2013 when he was facing “financial difficulties,” prosecutors said.
Court papers did not identify the third-party health plan administrator, which processed insurance claims for the union’s 3,000 members.
Ulrich allegedly demanded quarterly payments of $5,000 in exchange for using his influence to make the union continue using the administrator instead of switching to another plan.
He later demanded larger bribes, starting in 2014 and again in 2015, prosecutors said.
Ulrich told the health plan administrator that he needed additional payments for another trustee — but it went into his pockets, the feds said.
“John Ulrich abused his position as the vice president of a labor union and trustee for its health plan by selling his influence to the Union’s health care administrator. As part of this alleged scheme, Ulrich betrayed the trust of the Union members who elected him in order to line his pockets with bribe money,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.
Ulrich, 48, of Newburgh, pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bond.
After a special union board meeting in February 2016, Ulrich was fired from Teamsters Local 812 and removed from his position as trustee of the health plan