« 이전계속 »
The president of Fringe Programs was Julius November, a New York attorney with offices in Manhattan. The personal lawyer for Louis Ostrer, November told Subcommittee investigators that he knew almost nothing about the day-to-day operations of Fringe Programs.
The sole stockholder in Fringe was Dina Gelman, Ostrer's sister. Mrs. Gelman, besides being the only stockholder, was also office manager. Her salary was $18,000 to $25,000.
Subcommittee investigators found Fringe Programs to be an efficiently run administrative organization routinely involved in keeping track of the individual payments made on behalf of each of the members of Local 295. Fringe also provided a similar service for about 12 other union severance funds.
Tabulating equipment was used extensively. Computer time was rented from an outside company. Desk space was crowded.
Mrs. Gelman, the supposed owner of the enterprise, shared a small partitioned office with several secretaries and clerks and filing cabinets.
By contrast, Mrs. Gelman's brother, Louis Ostrer, who was not on the payroll but was listed as a “consultant," enjoyed a well appointed, wood panelled suite, conference room and library. Appearances suggested that Ostrer was in charge and that Mrs. Gelman worked for him.
EXECUTIVE LIFE INSURANCE PAYS ADVANCE COMMISSIONS
In his affidavit, 46 Otto Forst, president of the holding company that owned Executive Life, said he had expected the first year's premiums to be received in one lump sum. But he learned the premiums were to be paid in monthly installments.
At Ostrer's recommendation, Forst agreed to lend-or advance the agent an amount equal to the first year's commissions, using as collateral a series of promissory notes.
Forst said Ostrer assured him that the trustees of the severance fund would accept Ostrer's advice as to the selection of an insurance company.
Forst was certain that Ostrer could prevail as to which company the trustees would select and that Ostrer would have his way on all other details of the insurance coverage. Forst put it this way:
I would like to make it clear that as far as this company was concerned, Louis Ostrer controlled the placing of the severance fund business with us. He had designed the plan and the trustees would rely upon him for advice as to which insurance company should be selected and it was my policy to take those steps which he proposed in order to accomplish the writing of the case,
Forst said the Local 295 insurance policies were written through Ostrer's associate, Cy Reeves Snyder. Then, Forst said, a change was made as Dina Gelman, Ostrer's sister, took over the account and all of the promissory notes, guarantees, commission agreements and other papers connected with the plan were transferred to her in care of her Dina Gelman Agency. She was now the writing agent.
INTERVIEW WITH CY REEVES SNYDER
Cy Reeves Snyder, a retired 63 year old comedian and dancer, was interviewed by Subcommittee Investigators November 23, 1971 and
# Forst affidavit.
February 22, 1972 in his apartment, No. 312, at 1652 N.E. 191st Street, North Miami Beach, Florida.47
Snyder said that he had gone in insurance sales at Louis Ostrer's suggestion. He obtained licenses in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida.
As for his association with the severance trust fund of Local 295, Snyder said he had allowed Dina Gelman and Fringe Programs, Inc., to use his name in that he, Snyder, was licensed in New York.
Snyder insisted, however, that any commissions paid in connection with the Local 295 insurance policies were not to him. He said he had received $3,000 from Fringe Programs but that this money was payment for his unsuccessful efforts to sell the Ostrer severance fund concept to some union locals in Florida.
Subcommittee investigators established that from December 17, 1970 to January 25, 1971 six commission checks totalling $335,000 from Executive Life payable to Cy Reeves Snyder were endorsed by a person who signed the name of Cy Reeves Snyder.18
Subcommittee investigators sought to discuss this apparent discrepancy with Snyder. But Snyder did not wish to discuss it and even refused to examine photostatic copies of the checks and the endorsements on the back sides.
Snyder would say only that it was his understanding that any income derived from the Local 295 insurance commissions went to Dina Gelman or Fringe Programs, Inc., or Seymour Greenfield.
THE LOANS ARE GUARANTEED
On December 10, 1970, Harry O. Miller, general counsel for the Executive Life Insurance Company, wrote a memorandum to Otto Forst on the subject of the agent's commissions for the policies of the Local 295 severance fund.49
Miller informed Forst that the advance on the commissions—that is, Miller said, "the loan to be made to Cy Reeves Snyder"—was to be paid back over four years and was “to be guaranteed by Viscount Agency, Inc., Fringe Programs, Inc., Louis Ostrer and Seymour Greenfield.”
Greenfield was a close business associate of Ostrer. Viscount Agency, Inc., was an enterprise headed by Greenfield.
FORST, LOCHNER SIGN CHECKS
The Executive Life Insurance Company of New York had offices at 540 Madison Avenue in New York City. The president of the firm was Norbert F. Lochner.
47 Subcommittee memorandum of November 23, 1971 entitled, "Interview of Cy Reeves Snyder re Louis Ostrer and Severance Benefit Fund of Local 295, IBT." from Stephen B. King and William F. Gibney
to John P. Constandy, and memorandum of February 22, 1972 from King and Robert Dunne to Constandy. (See Appendix IX.)
48 Check No. 6592, dated December 17, 1970, drawn on the account of the Executive Life Insurance Company of New York, payable to Cy Reeves Snyder, in the amount of $25,000; check No. 6593, dated December i7, 1970, drawn on the account of Executive Life, payable to Cy Reeves Snyder, in the amount of $50,000; check No. 6651, dated December 21, 1970, drawn on the account of Executive Lífe, payable to Cy Reeves Snyder, in the amount of $25,000; check No. 6945, dated January 25, 1971, drawn on the account of Executive Life, payable to Cy R. Snyder Agency, Inc., in the amount of $35,000; check No. 6944 dated January 25, 1971, drawn on the account of Executive Life, payable to Cy R. Snyder, in the amount of $50,000; and check No. 6946, dated January 28, 1971, drawn on the account of Executive Life, payable to Cy R. Snyder Agency in the amount of $150,000. (See Appendix X.)
** Memorandum, dated December 10, 1970, from Harry 0. Miller to Otto Forst. (See Appendix XI.)
Lochner told Subcommittee investigators in a June 12, 1972 affidavit so that he was informed by Otto Forst that Executive Life would be handling coverage for the members of Local 295 under the new severance pay-life insurance program,
Lochner said that Forst informed him that advance commissions were to be paid on the union policies. Lochner said that he and Forst co-signed checks totalling $431,516 to Cy Reeves Snyder and Dina Gelman, the agents for the Local 295 policies.
Lochner said that from December 17, 1970 to January 25, 1971, six checks totalling $335,000 were paid to Cy Reeves Snyder or the Cy R. Snyder Agency.
Lochner said that from March 4, 1971, to April 12, 1971, four checks with a combined value of $96,516.43 were paid as commissions to Dina Gelman.
The Investigations Subcommittee obtained photostatic copies of these checks. The Subcommittee also obtained copies of three additional checks from Executive Life to Dina Gelman. These checks, for commission advances on the Local 295 policies, totalled $51,671 and were issued on February 22, 1971, and June 22, 1971.52
Russell J. Lasher, the financial vice president and treasurer of First Executive Corporation, the holding company for Executive Life, gave the Subcommittee an affidavit August 30, 1972 in which he swore to the authenticity of all 13 checks and to the fact that all of them were issued in connection with the insurance coverage given by Executive Life to the members of Local 295.53
TRANS WORLD TAKES OVER THE 295 ACCOUNT
Otto Forst, speaking for Executive Life, said the company dropped its policies with the Local 295 severance fund because the death claims were too high and the agent's commissions were too expensive.64
So, for the second tier of insurance for the Teamsters local, Louis Ostrer turned to the Trans World Life Insurance Company of New York.
Again, advance commissions were paid out. And, again, commission rates were quite high. Trans World Life Insurance policies provided for an aggregated first year commission of 90 percent.55 The first agent for Trans World was Seymour Greenfield of 32–16 Healey Avenue, Far Rockaway, New York. Greenfield, a close associate of Ostrer, was president of the Viscount Agency, Inc., and secretary of the Modern Agency, Inc., both of which sold insurance.
• Norbert F. Lochner affidavit, June 12, 1972. (See Appendix XII.) Check No. 610, dated March 4, 1971, drawn on the
account of Executive Life Insurance Company of New York, payable to Dina Gelman, in the amount of $2,232.47; Check No. 1063, dated April 5, 1971, drawn on the account of Executive Life, payable to Dina Gelman, in the amount of $22,129.87; Check No. 1148, dated April 9, 1971, drawn on the account of Executive Life, payable to Dina Gelman, in the amount of $22,154,00; and Check No. 1155, dated April 12, 1971, drawn on the account of Executive Life, payable to Dina Gelman, in the amount of $50,000. (See Appendix XIII.)
Check No. 443, dated February 22, 1971, drawn on the account of Executive Life Insurance Company of New York, payable to Dina Gelman, in the amount of $25,000; Check No. 1466, dated May 14, 1971, drawn on the account of Executive Life, payable ta Dina Gelman, in the amount of $5,671.88: and cashier's check No. 2610093, payable to Dina Gelman pursuant to instructions of Executive Life, in the amount of $20,000. (See Appendix XIV.)
Affidavit of Russell J. Lasher, August 30, 1972. (See Appendix XV.) # Forst affidavit. * New York State Insurance Department Report of Examination of the Local 295 Severance Trust Fund as of June 30, 1971, No.0-232-0295. (See Appendíx VIII.)
TRANS WORLD PAYS COMMISSION ADVANCES
Joseph J. Warren was the president of the Trans World Life Insurance Company of New York. In a June 19, 1972 Subcommittee affidavit, Warren said he wrote checks to advance-or loan-money equal to the size of the commissions for the agents on the Local 295 life insurance policies. 56
From September 22, 1971 to November 30, 1971, Warren wrote seven checks totalling $140,000 payable to the Viscount Agency,
Warren wrote six more checks, totalling $320,000, from December 1, 1971 to January 10, 1972 payable to the Dina Gelman Agency.58 The total commissions on the second tier of insurance, then, came to $460,000. The Subcommittee obtained photostatic copies of these checks.
HENRY BROWN CASHES CHECKS FOR OSTRER
Henry Brown, a New York City broker, had the financial resources to cash large checks for Louis Ostrer and for persons who were associated with Ostrer. Brown described these transactions in four affidavits he gave the Subcommittee December 9, 1971, June 16, 1972, July 28, 1972 and September 8, 1972.59
Brown said he had known Ostrer for 15 years, trusted him and had cashed checks worth $1 million for him since 1968. Brown said Ostrer owed him $260,000 but he was confident he would be paid back.
Until Ostrer "got in trouble" with Canada Life Assurance Company, Brown said, Ostrer was "an outstanding insurance salesman." But when he lost his license, Ostrer became associated with” or employed Dina Gelman, Seymour Greenfield, Cy Reeves Snyder and William Kilroy and such businesses as Fringe Programs, Viscount Agency, Modern Agency, Sutter Agency, Cy Reeves Snyder Agency and Dina Gelman Agency.
Because I keep no records, I cannot recall the details of specific transactions I have had with Mr. Ostrer. However, in general, Mr. Ostrer or Mr. Seymour Greenfield would contact me concerning the cashing of a check they had in their possession or the advancing of funds on a check which they expected to receive in the near future. I would cash the check in question or advance the money on the expected check, giving the money to Mr. Ostrer or Mr. Greenfield or one of their associates—either a Mr. William Kilroy, Mr. William Felner or Mr.
66 Affidavit of Joseph J. Warren, June 19, 1972 (See Appendix XVI.) 87 Check No. 20522, dated September 22, 1971, drawn on the account of the Trans World Life Insurance Company, payable to Viscount Agency, Inc., in the amount of $25,000; Check No. 20523, dated September 22, 1971,
drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Viscount Agency, in the amount of $25,000; Check No. 20919, dated October 8, 1971, drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Viscount Agency, in the amount of $15,000; Check No. 20920, dated October 8, 1971, drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Viscount Agency, in the amount of $15,000; Check No. 21145 dated October 18, 1971, drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Viscount Agency, in the amount of $20,000; Check No. 22152, dated November 29, 1971, drawn on the account of Trans World Lise, payable to Viscount Agency, in the amount of $10.000; and Check No. 22169, dated November 30, 1971, drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Viscount Agency, in the amount of $30,000. (See Appendix XVII.)
58 Check No. 22191, dated December 1, 1971, drawn on the account of Trans World Life Insurance Company payable to Dina Gelman Agency, in the amount of $100,000; Check No. 22253, dated December 3, 1971, drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Dina Gelman Agency, in the amount of $60,000; Check No. 22709, dated December 17,
1971, drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Dina Gelman Agency, in the amount of $40,000; Check No. 22969, dated January 4, 1972, drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Dina Gelman Agency, in the amount of $30,000; Check No. 23072, dated January 6, 1972, drawn on the account of Trans World Life, payable to Dina Gelman Agency, in the amount of $70,000; and Check No. 23144, dated January 10, 1972, drawn on the account of Traus World Life, payable to Dina Gelman Agency, in the amount of $20.000. (See Appendix XVIII.)
69 Separate affidavits of Henry Brown, dated December 9, 1971; June 16, 1972; July 28, 1972; and September 8, 1972. (See Appendix XIX.)
, who is my nephew. However, I would only cash checks or advance money at either Mr. Ostrer's or Mr. Greenfield's direction. For these services I would charge only a nominal fee-such as $50 or $100 depending upon the amount of the check.00
While he kept no records and could not recall every check he had cashed for Ostrer, Brown did remember circumstances surrounding some of the checks when Subcommittee investigators showed him photostatic copies.
For example, Brown remembered cashing a January 25, 1971 check from Executive Life Insurance Company payable to y R. Snyder for $50,000. But, Brown said, it wasn't Cy R. Snyder who cashed it. "I cashed this check for either Mr. Ostrer or Mr. Greenfield and deposited the check in my account,” Brown said, adding:
I did not give the cash to Mr. Cy Reeves Snyder, the payee of the check. From previous conversation I had with Mr. Snyder, however, I know he approved of the transactions. In fact, he told me that Messrs. Ostrer or Greenfield had a power of attorney to use his signature.61
Another January 25, 1971 Executive Life check payable to Snyderthis one for $35,000-was cashed by Brown. He said he remembered giving the money to Ostrer or Greenfield or one of their associates, and, again, Snyder approved of the transaction.62
Brown said one check-a $25,000 cashier's check drawn January 27, 1971 by the Kings Lafayette Bank--was payable to Henry Brown. Brown explained:
Mr. Ostrer or Mr. Greenfield contacted me concerning the cashing of this check. Mr. Michael McEnroe signed this check on behalf of the Kings Lafayette Bank, At Ostrer's or Greenfield's direction, I cashed the check, giving the money to them or one of their associates.63
THE KINGS LAFAYETTE BANK CHECK IS EXPLAINED
The Kings Lafayette Bank, 200 Montague Street, Brooklyn, New York, was the site of a meeting December 30, 1970. The subject of the meeting was the severance fund-life insurance program of Local 295. In attendance were Louis Ostrer, Seymour Greenfield and several bank officials including Milton Vanderveer, the chairman of the board of the bank, and Tum Sudin, Richard Arkwright and Michael McEnroe, all vice presidents.
McEnroe discussed the meeting--and subsequent events related to it-in a July 14, 1972 Subcommittee affidavit.64
He recalled that Ostrer described the severance trust fund to the bank officers. Ostrer said certain trust fund deposits would be made in the bank as part of its investments portfolio.
"It was apparent from the beginning that Ostrer was in charge," McEnroe added, concluding his recollection of the meeting.
Shortly thereafter--on January 6, 1971--McEnroe said, an account for the Modern Agency, Inc., was opened and Seymour Greenfield, secretary of the firm, was authorized to be its sole signator.65 On January 27, 1971, Greenfield opened a personal account, again with himself the sole signator.66
" Henry Brown affidavit, June 16, 1973.
" Henry Brown affidavit, September 8, 1972. " Affidavit of Michael McEnroe, July 14, 1972. (See Appendix XX.) Statement of Kings Lafayette Bank, New York, in which Seymour Greenfield was certified as secretary of the Modern Agency, Inc., and its sole signator. (See Appendix XXI.) " Statement of Kings Lafayette Bank in which Seymour Greenfield of Viscount Agency opened a personal checking account. (See Appendix XXII.)