Newburgh man, former vice president of Teamsters pleads guilty to bribery

WHITE PLAINS – A Newburgh man who previously served as the vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812 and as a trustee of the union’s employee health benefit plan pled guilty in federal court on Thursday.

John Ulrich, 48, of Newburgh, admitted to soliciting tens of thousands of dollars in bribe payments from an executive of the plan’s third party administrator in exchange for using his influence to ensure the union’s continued retention of the administrator as its plan administrator.

The union has some 3,000 members and represents workers in the beverage industry throughout the New York metropolitan area. The union’s members are covered by the plan, which provides, among other things, life insurance, health insurance, dental, vision, and disability benefits to union members and their families.

In 2013, Ulrich solicited bribe payments from an executive of the plan of $5,000 per quarter in exchange for using his influence to maintain that company as the plan’s third-party administrator.

In 2014, Ulrich demanded increased bribe payments from the executive, which were made and in September 2015, Ulrich again solicited additional bribe payments.

Ulrich was terminated as vice president and trustee of the union and plan in February 2016.

He pled guilty to conspiracy to solicit and receive bribe payments to influence the operation of an employee benefit plan, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in April 2020.

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