Four former members of the Teamsters union were charged Wednesday with running an extortion racket going back to 2007 that allegedly targeted anyone involved in Boston's convention and trade show business - from hotels and caterers to pharmaceutical companies.
A 30-count indictment charged John Perry, 60, of Woburn; Joseph "Jo Jo" Burhoe, 44, of Braintree; James "Jimmy the Bull" Deamicis, 49, of Quincy; and Thomas Flaherty, 49, of Braintree with racketeering, extortion, mail fraud and theft of government money, among other charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston announced Wednesday.
The defendants were allegedly members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82. Perry was the secretary treasurer, and in 2003 was named director of trade shows and convention centers for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. In December 2011, Local 82 was taken over by Charlestown-based Teamsters Local 25.
Known as the "Perry Crew," they allegedly extorted a laundry list of entities in Boston's event and travel industry - including hotels, event planners, catering companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, music entertainment companies and nonprofit organizations.