Sunday, October 13, 2013

Unanswered Questions in SEIU Corruption Scandal as Tyrone Freeman Ordered to Prison

Now that Tyrone Freeman is finally on this way to the Big House, there are still many unanswered questions about SEIU's corruption scandal. Here are a few:

1.  Will the feds pursue the SEIU officials who aided and abetted Freeman during his crime spree? 

Jim Philliou, a top SEIU staffer, has twice testified under oath that Purple Palace officials were fully aware of Freeman’s crimes as early as 2001, but failed to step in and instead reportedly launched a cover-up to hide the corruption from legal authorities and SEIU’s own members. 

The SEIU officials implicated in the scandal include Eliseo Medina, Andy Stern, Steve Trossman, Sheila Velasco, Dave Kieffer, Tom Woodruff, Gerry Hudson, Mary Kay Henry and Dave Regan.

In late September, the former president of an SEIU local union sent this five-page memo imploring federal prosecutors to go after the top SEIU officials involved in Freeman's crimes.

2.  Who paid Freeman’s legal bills? 

Rumors are that SEIU secretly paid the bills in exchange for Freeman’s promise to not bring down other Purple Palace officials with him. Sources tell Tasty that Freeman’s legal bills from the firm Mayer Brown -- an elite global law firm that specializes in White Collar Defense cases and has represented White House staffers and congresspeople -- easily totals many millions of dollars.  

3.  Will SEIU now pursue its civil lawsuit against Tyrone? 

To great fanfare, SEIU sued Freeman in the spring of 2009 in an effort to recover the millions of dollars that he allegedly embezzled. The judge put SEIU's civil lawsuit on hold while the feds pursued their criminal case against Freeman. Now that Freeman has been sentenced, will SEIU resume its civil lawsuit against Freeman? So far, SEIU has been unwilling to even criticize Freeman in the press despite his conviction for stealing from SEIU’s members.  

4.  Why is Tyrone's former chief of staff, Rickman Jackson, who was removed as the president of SEIU Healthcare Michigan for his role in the corruption scandal, still on SEIU’s payroll and working for Mary Kay Henry at the Purple Palace?

SEIU paid Rickman Jackson $140,000 in 2011.

5.  Why is the State of California allowing one of Freeman’s partners-in-crime, Dickerson Employee Benefits, Inc., to serve as a state-sponsored insurance broker on California’s Obamacare Health Benefit Exchange (aka, “Covered California”)?

Dickerson is one of Freeman’s corrupt business pals who jointly stole more than $12.5 million from California healthcare workers, according to 51-page lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District   
Court, names Freeman and Dickerson Employee Benefits as co-defendants.

According to the suit, Freeman and Dickerson plundered millions from a health and welfare fund set up by Freeman to supposedly provide health and dental coverage to SEIU members. Freeman reportedly let Dickerson steal millions from the fund in exchange for kickbacks to Freeman in the form of fake consulting agreements, stock options, campaign contributions to Freeman’s election fund, etc.

In one kickback scheme, Freeman diverted rivers of money to Dickerson, which then paid Freeman $45,000 for a no-show consulting gig with a phantom for-profit company called Insurance Clerk, Inc. More details are contained in this 55-page legal filing connected to the lawsuit.

Carl Dickerson -- founder and Chairman of the Board of Dickerson Employee Benefits -- was also one of Tyrone’s frequent guests to the infamous Beverly Hills cigar bar, where Freeman charged $175 glasses of brandy to SEIU’s members. 

Many questions... and Tasty wants answers!