Joseph Hauser, who allegedly diverted more than $7 million in premiums from a Teamsters health and welfare fund, has been found guilty of bribery in another case involving unions funds.
The verdict was returned Monday at federal district court in Los Angeles in a case brought by a federal organized crime strike force.
Hauser bribed union officials to induce them to place their memberships' health insurance with a company called 'National Prepaid Health Plan, Inc., which he controlled.
Terry Lord, who headed the strike force prosecution unit, said the unit would continue its investigation of Hauser's alleged diversion of Teamsters' premiums. A federal grand jury, whose deliberations on Hauser were suspended for the duration ofpresumably will resume hearing evidence.
FBI agents recently were in Baton Rouge investigating a company called National American Life Insurance Co. (Nalico), which Hauser bought last June, according to a reliable source.
He bought the company from Roger LeBlanc, a Baton Rouge financier, who with his brother Jules was indicted by a federal grand jury in January for misappropriating $3 million in bank funds.
Six Securities and Exchange Commission attorneys also were in Baton Rouge yesterday, trying to wrap up an investigation of the LeBlancs that has dragged on for nearly a year. "We've got more bodies working on this one than we did on the Penn Central," commented one SEC attorney.
Hauser allegedly diverted $7 million (See INSURANCE, C2, Col. 4) (INSURANCE, From C1) in premiums paid by Teamsters to the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Welfare Fund. The fund ended up paying claims by union members after Hauser allegedly took the premiums. The fund is suing Hauser, among others, for return of the premiums.
The SEC allege din its suit that Hauser ran the Teamsters money through several insurance companies, including Nalico, before about $2 million of it ended up last summer in Diplomat National Bank here. About $1.1 million of that went to a Swiss company set up by Hauser.
Nalico is under joint supervision of the SEC and the Louisiana Insurance Department.
Federal authorities believe that the LeBlancs switched from banking to insurance after federal investigators learned they were using five banks they controlled to support their troubled real estate ventures.
Before selling Nalico to Hauser, Roger LeBlanc moved about $100 million of its insurance policies to a newly formed company called First Republic Life Insurance Co. in Baton Rouge. SEC investigators think this cog to commission sources.
LeBlanc has been setting up new insurance companies in other states even as his Louisiana operations come under federal srutiny. He recently bought a company in Mississippi and another in Oklahoma.
According to a source in Oklahoma City close to Gov. David L. Boren, the governor is concerned over LeBlanc's recent arrival in his state. LeBlanc has hired Gene C. Howard, a Tulsa attorney who is also president pro tempore of thent his interest there.