Buske Lines named in contract scheme

Ann Knef Apr. 11, 2005, 12:31pm

A Granite City trucking and warehousing firm, Buske Lines, is accused of providing lavish gifts to a corporate executive in exchange for “rigged” trucking contracts, according to a civil lawsuit filed in Racine County Circuit Court, Wisc. last year.

Buske Lines president Tom Buske referred inquiries to a St. Louis public relations firm.

“We can’t comment on pending matters,” said Steve Houston of Casey Communications on behalf of Buske.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, a federal investigation of Milton E. Morris, who was the former transportation director for S.C. Johnson & Sons Inc., also is currently under way. Morris reportedly was fired in October.

“The government alleged that S.C. Johnson was victimized by about $1 million monthly in inflated payments made to trucking companies,” the WSJ report stated. JMP Intermodal Inc., a Racine trucking firm, also is accused of giving gifts to Morris in exchange for contracts.

Houston said that Buske was added as a defendant in a civil suit filed against Morris by S.C. Johnson—the maker of Pledge, Edge and other consumer goods.

“Cash, jewelry, travel, lodging and expenses associated with gambling” are reportedly part of the scheme in which Morris was paid by Buske and other trucking companies and their executives.

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