CRM (202) 616-2008 TDD (202) 514-1888

MARITIME UNION OFFICIALS CONVICTED ON RACKETEERING CHARGES WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice announced today a federal jury convicted five officers of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association ("MEBA"), the largest maritime union in the United States, on RICO conspiracy, mail fraud, extortion and embezzlement charges. Four of the five defendants were convicted of participating in the theft of $2 million dollars -- nearly 45% of the union's cash assets -- in the guise of phony severance payments. The verdict was reached July 5, 1995 following a five-month trial and is the first criminal prosecution of a nationwide election fraud scheme carried out by union officials. C. Eugene DeFries, age 67, Clyde Dodson, age 72, Reinhold Schamann, age 65, Claude Daulley, age 70 and Alexander C. Cullison, age 44, were convicted of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act ("RICO"), RICO conspiracy, mail fraud, extortion, and embezzlement in violation of Title 18 United States Code sections 1962(c) and (d), 1341 and 1346, and Title 29 United States Code ​ 501(c). ​ Defendants DeFries, Dodson, Schamann and Daulley were convicted on embezzlement charges for stealing the union's assets. Cullison, DeFries, Dodson, Schamann and Daulley were convicted on conspiracy charges for conducting the affairs of MEBA from 1984 to 1991 through a pattern of racketeering activity. The mail fraud convictions involve the defendants' fixing union elections by unlawfully obtaining ballots from union members and then voting the ballots for themselves. The extortion conviction arose from threats made by Cullison and others to union members who resisted the defendants' efforts to obtain both elections ballots and contributions to the MEBA political action fund. Among the extortionate activity were threats to delay pension applications of retired members, and to deny members basic union services such as access to the MEBA training school. Members who resisted the defendants' efforts were threatened and deprived of basic union services. "The verdict is a victory for the many rank-and-file union members who were long victimized by the illegal activities of the defendants. By engaging in election fraud, the defendants systematically deprived union members of their fundamental right to fair and honest union elections," Assistant Attorney General JoAnn Harris said. Three other MEBA officials, who had previously pled guilty, cooperated with the government and testified at trial. Donald Masingo, former branch agent for the port of Baltimore, pled guilty to RICO conspiracy, Mario White, former SecretaryTreasurer and branch agent for the port of Seattle, pled guilty to mail fraud and Daniel Colon, a patrolman for the port of New York, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Nine other

union officials are awaiting trial for related mail fraud and extortion charges. MEBA represents licensed engineers and unlicensed seamen. DeFries was the former President of MEBA. Dodson was the former Executive Vice-President and Branch Agent for the Port of San Francisco. Daulley was a former Vice-President, and Branch Agent of the Port of New Orleans. Schamann, also a former Vice-President, was the Branch Agent for the Port of New York. Cullison was the Branch Agent for the Port of Houston. The maximum statutory penalty for the RICO convictions is twenty years imprisonment on each count and fines up to $250,000, or twice the amount of the proceeds of the offense, whichever is higher. The trial was conducted before United States District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in Washington, D.C. A sentencing date has not been set. The prosecution was handled by Sotiris A. Planzos, Richard G. Convertino and Thomas A. Zaccaro, trial attorneys with the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice. Special Agent Joseph Theis of the Office of Labor Racketeering, Department of Labor Inspector General in Hyattsville, Maryland and Special Agents Thomas Hayes and William Redden of the Washington field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation. # # # 95-380