Federal Jury Acquits Teamsters’ Members in ‘Top Chef’ Extortion Case

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi testified during the trial. (Photograph by David Shankbone, Creative Commons.)

Even though an Andover man has already been sentenced for his role in a 2014 alleged attempted extortion of a reality television program, four other Teamsters members were acquitted in federal court Tuesday.

Local 25 members John Fidler, Daniel Redmond, Robert Cafarelli and Michael Ross were found not guilty of conspiracy to extort and attempted extortion by a federal jury in Boston. Prosecutors tried to make the case union members conspired to demand the non-union “Top Chef” program hire members of Local 25 as drivers. The company had no agreement with Local 25 and hired its own employees, including drivers, to produce and participate in the filming of the show in the Boston area during June, 2014. Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said he was disappointed by the decision.

“The defendants’ conduct was an affront to all of the hard-working and law-abiding members of organized labor. We will continue to aggressively prosecute extortion in all its forms to ensure that Boston remains a safe and welcoming place to do business.”

Last December, Mark Harrington, 62, of Andover, was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to pay a $10,000 fine and $24,023 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted extortion. Harrington served as secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 25.

3 thoughts on “Federal Jury Acquits Teamsters’ Members in ‘Top Chef’ Extortion Case

  1. While running for Attorney General Maura Healy made a public statement denouncing what these thugs had done. Two weeks “later” with a big smile on her face she accepted a large campaign contribution from the Local 25 Teamsters Union. Even after everything that came out about the union thugs harassing and threatening women the liberal whackjob Healy still has not returned the campaign donation. That’s Massachusetts…another liberal Democrat in bed with organized crime.

    Where are all the liberal Democrat women calling for Healy to step down? If a Republican had done that they’d be protesting in the streets.

  2. Wow. So it seems now it is ok once again to threaten innocent people because they didn’t use union help. Nothing surprises me any more in this state.