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Hoffa Nephew Convicted of Taking Union-related Bribes

October 3, 1991

DETROIT (AP) _ A nephew of missing Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa was convicted Wednesday of taking bribes from companies that wanted to avoid union problems.

John Charles Burge, 49, faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 for each of seven counts of accepting bribes. He also faces a maximum of three years and fines of up to $500,000 for two counts of filing false tax returns, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Strauss.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Gadola set sentencing for Dec. 10.

Burge was a business agent for Teamsters Local 124 in Dearborn Heights from 1984 to 1986, and for Local 299 in Detroit before that, Strauss said.

During those years, he owned Western Enterprises, a company that received $35,000 in illegal payments from trucking companies operating at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Strauss said. The payments were from employers who wanted to avoid unionization or to settle labor disputes, Strauss said.

Hoffa, a former Teamsters president, vanished in 1975 from outside a restaurant in a Detroit suburb.

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