Allen Dorfman

Allen Dorfman (January 6, 1923, Detroit, Michigan – January 20, 1983 Lincolnwood, Illinois) was an insurance agency owner, and a consultant to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Central States Pension Fund. He was a close associate of longtime IBT President Jimmy Hoffa and associated with the Chicago Outfit. Dorfman was convicted on several felony counts, and was violently murdered in 1983.

Early years

Dorfman was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1923 to a working class family and attended Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois. He enlisted in the US Marines and won a Silver Star at the Battle of Iwo Jima. He attended the University of Illinois and taught physical education there. He was the stepson of Paul "Red" Dorfman, who was head of the Chicago Waste Handler's Union and a kingpin in the Chicago Outfit.

Teamsters leader

In 1949, Allen Dorfman formed the Union Insurance Agency and obtained a contract to provide health and welfare insurance for the Teamsters Central States union. The contract soon extended to sickness and accident insurance. In 1959, Dorfman became the subject of an investigation by the McClellan Committee regarding the excessive fees paid by the Teamsters to Dorfman's company. The Committee suspected that large cash withdrawals from the business were actually kickbacks to Jimmy Hoffa. During the late 1950s, Dorfman got involved in approving loans for the Teamster's Central States Pension Fund. Many of these loans were real estate loans to associates of high-ranking Teamster members or to organized crime connected casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1963, Dorfman was indicted in the same Chattanooga, Tennessee jury-fixing case that sent Hoffa to prison. However, Dorfman was acquitted in the case. After Hoffa went to prison in 1967, Dorfman took control of the Central States Pension fund. Among the loans he later made was a $160 million loan to Argent Corporation, which owned a group of casinos, including the Stardust Resort & Casino. The casinos at that time were infiltrated by organized crime and were being heavily skimmed. A number of organized crime members were later convicted in the case. By 1977, Dorfman had lost control of the pension fund due to the implementation of ERISA and more outside control of the fund.

Dorfman rose to prominence during labor unrest following World War II, and by the late 1950s was a close cohort of IBT President Jimmy Hoffa. Dorfman's rise coincided with enormous expansion in Teamsters' ranks, along with spectacular growth in the union's pension funds, which eventually came largely under Dorfman's administration. The "Test Fleet" prosecution brought against Hoffa by the Justice Department, then headed by US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy resulted in a hung jury in December 1962. Dorfman, along with other Hoffa allies, was investigated and charged with jury tampering. Dorfman was acquitted in the case, but Jimmy Hoffa, was found guilty of this crime in 1964. After a lengthy appeals process Hoffa went to prison in 1967.

Embezzlement conviction

Alleged ties to organized crime dogged Dorfman during his time as a Teamsters' leader, as he was the stepson of the Chicago-based gangster Paul "Red" Dorfman. Dorfman, based mostly in Chicago, was eventually indicted, along with several other Teamsters' leaders, for embezzlement from the union pension fund, in 1970. Dorfman and Hoffa ran for several years a large-scale program of unsecured loans from Teamsters' pension funds to major figures in organized crime. This prosecution resulted in his conviction, and Allen Dorfman was sentenced to one year in federal prison. He was again investigated in 1973 on similar charges, related to payoffs given to have the Teamsters represent agricultural workers in California, in place of the United Farm Workers Union.

In February 1974, Dorfman was indicted for fraud involving $1.4 million in loans made by the Teamster's pension fund to Gaylur Products/American Pail Company, a plastics manufacturing company in Deming, New Mexico. Indicted along with Dorfman were Joseph Lombardo (aka “Joey the Clown”), Anthony Spilotro (aka "The Ant"), Irwin Weiner, and several others. Between 1959 and 1969 the Central States Pension Fund Plan the loans had gone unpaid. But in 1971, Irwin Weiner a prominent bailbondsman, organized crime associate and friend of Jack Ruby had purchased stock in the company and received another $1.4 million loan from the fund with a mere $7000 deposit. The government's case collapsed after their main witness, Daniel Seifert, was murdered in September 1974 and the defendants were either acquitted or dropped from the indictment. (Lombardo was convicted of Seifert's murder in 2007 as a result of Operation Family Secrets).

Violent death

In 1979, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched "Operation Pendorf" (for penetration of Allen Dorfman). The FBI installed hidden microphones in the office of Dorfman's insurance agency. As a result of information obtained from the wiretaps, a federal grand jury in Chicago indicted Dorfman and four others in May 1981. Dorfman was subsequently convicted in December 1982, along with Teamsters' president Roy Lee Williams and Chicago Outfit enforcer Joseph Lombardo, for conspiring to bribe Howard Cannon, the Democratic Senator from Nevada. Three days before his sentencing, scheduled for January 23, 1983, he was murdered in the Purple Hotel parking lot in Lincolnwood, Illinois. Described as a gangland-style execution, the murder was presumably intended to keep him from cooperating with authorities to avoid a possible 55-year prison sentence. He was with longtime friend Irwin Weiner, a known associate of many Chicago mob figures. Weiner was not injured in the incident.

In popular culture

The character of "Andy Stone" (played by Alan King) in the 1995 film Casino was based upon Dorfman.

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