Consulting Firm President Charged with Trustee Kickbacks

December 19, 2001 ( - The president of a New York investment consulting firm has been charged with paying illegal kickbacks to a union pension fund trustee.

George Phillips, 71, previously President of Pension Fund Evaluations, has been charged with paying illegal kickbacks to William Close, then a member of the board of trustees of the Pension Funds of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local Union Number 710, and of the Automobile Mechanics Union and Industry Local Union Number 701, both located in Chicago.

Close ‘Encounter’

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The kickbacks were allegedly made in exchange for Close directing that trades of assets of the Pension Funds of Locals 710 and 701 be executed through PFE’s clearing brokers. PFE in turn had agreements with the clearing brokers that PFE would receive 70% of commissions earned on the trades.

Close has already pled guilty to racketeering charges in Chicago arising out of his receipt of illegal kickbacks. He is currently awaiting sentencing.

If convicted, Phillips could be looking at a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment, to be followed by a one year term of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Labor, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Whiting of Sullivan’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanne Kempthorne of Sullivan’s Economic Crimes Unit.

– Nevin Adams