The Associated Press




Former Laborers Union Official Charged With Racketeering




November 9, 2000


A former head of a suburban Laborers International Union local was arrested Thursday on federal charges of stealing more than $470,000 in union funds.


Frank B. Zeuberis, 54, of St. John, Ind., was charged in a 28-count indictment with criminal acts ranging from authorizing phony pay raises, vacation pay and bonuses, to creating fake documents as a coverup.


Zeuberis, former president and business manager of Chicago Heights Local 5, appeared briefly before a federal magistrate in Hammond, Ind., and was released on his own recognizance, federal officials said.


His attorney's name was not learned immediately and his home phone was unlisted.


Federal officials said some of the money taken by Zeuberis over four years went to his wife, Joann, and to another Laborers' official, James DiForti, who died this year while awaiting trial on murder charges.


Federal officials have said that the Laborers Union and especially its Chicago locals have long had ties to organized crime. The union began a self-cleanup effort several years ago.


During the 1990s, Local 5 represented about 800 members and retirees, most of them construction workers.

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