High-Ranking Teamsters Union Official Charged in Chicago

A high-ranking union leader in Chicago faces federal charges for allegedly threatening to harm a local business if it didn't pay him $25,000 every quarter.

A Wednesday statement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago says the attempted extortion by John T. Coli Sr. started in 2016 when the 57-year-old served as president of Teamsters Joint Council 25. It represents more than 100,000 workers in the Chicago area and in northwest Indiana.

The grand jury indictment charges Coli with one count of attempted extortion and five counts of demanding and accepting a prohibited payment. A conviction on the attempted extortion charge alone carries up to 20 years in prison.

The statement doesn't name the business that was alleged extortion target. It also doesn't name Coli's attorney.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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