State Teamster Leader Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement Charge
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ The state leader of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters pleaded guilty to an embezzlement charge in federal court on Friday, three days before the scheduled start of his trial.
Anthony G. Rossetti, 45, of Bridgeport pleaded guilty to a substitute charge of embezzling $16,800 through what the government alleges were falsified treatment claims paid by the union’s dental health plan.
Rossetti faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, $10,000 fine and restitution of the $16,800 when he is sentenced April 24.
Charges of violating the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and obstruction of justice as well as four counts of embezzlement involving $62,700 will be dismissed at sentencing as part of the plea-bargain arrangement with prosecutors.
As part of the arrangement, William A. Keefer, who prosecuted the case for the U.S. Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, also agreed to discontinue any pending investigations of Rossetti, take no position on the sentencing and not call him as a trial or grand jury witness.
Rossetti declined comment Friday after his plea. Last summer, he claimed the indictment was an example of the government’s systematic harassment of Teamsters Local 191 over the past 15 years.
Hours before he entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Peter C. Dorsey, Rossetti resigned from the Bridgeport Board of Education, an elected position he held for almost nine years.
Following Rossetti’s plea, Frederick Roberto, who retired in 1984 as president of the Joint Council and secretary-treasurer of Local 191, received a two-year prison sentence, which Dorsey immediately suspended to two-years probation.
The judge also imposed a $3,000 fine on Roberto, ordered him to pay $6,000 in restitution and performf 624 hours of volunteer service.
Roberto, 70, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty last week to embezzling $6,000 from the union’s dental health plan through a series of alleged falsified treatment claims. RICO and embezzlement charges were dismissed.