4/22/08

Unions kept OLMS very busy in March

Recent Criminal Enforcement Actions

NOTE: An indictment is the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

On March 31, 2008 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Kurt E. Swanstrom, former Financial Secretary and Treasurer of PACE/USW Local 5-1560, pled guilty to embezzling union funds in the amount of $12,328, falsification of union records, and filing a false financial report with the Secretary. On January 8, 2008, Swanstrom was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount, one count of falsification of union records, and one count of filing a false labor organization report. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.

On March 19, 2008 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Karimah Bailey, former Treasurer of AFGE Local 3197, was charged with making a false statement and representation of a material fact, knowing it to be false, on the local’s annual financial report. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.

On March 19, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Norman K. Brown, former Bargaining Committee Chairperson of UAW Local 2911, pled guilty to embezzling approximately $41,478 in union funds. On March 7, 2008, an information was filed charging Brown with one count of embezzlement of union funds in the same amount. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On March 18, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Joseph Capece, former Business Manager and Financial-Secretary of IBEW Local Union 163, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, two years probation (to include six months in home confinement), fined $4000 and ordered to pay a special assessment fee of $100. On September 11, 2007, Capece pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $256,000. Capece had previously made restitution of the full amount, plus any other costs associated with his crime. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.

On March 17, 2008, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, a criminal information was filed charging Zona Albritton, former Manager of General Services for AFSCME, with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $75,446. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On March 14, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Deborah Anthony, former Financial Secretary of Steelworkers Local 1196, pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $1,245.45. The plea agreement requires Anthony to make restitution in the amount of $34,134.47. On November 7, 2007, Anthony was charged with eight counts of embezzling union funds totaling $6,955.18 and one count of preparing false union records. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office.

On March 12, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, an information was filed charging William Day, former Treasurer of Steelworkers Local 1-1462, with one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $11,140.88. Subsequently, Day pled guilty to the offense. The charge and plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

On March 10, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Darren Johnson, former President of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 78, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, including six months in a community corrections center, ordered to make restitution in the amount of $13,748.50 and attend a substance abuse program. On December 3, 2007, Johnson pled guilty to one count of bank robbery and incidental crimes. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

On March 7, 2008, in the County Court of Adams County, Colorado, William J. Kohut, former Treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1755, pled guilty to a one count felony charge of forgery. On May 23, 2007, Kohut was charged with theft (one count), identity theft (one count), unauthorized use of a financial transaction device (one count), and forgery (one count), in connection with his alleged conversion of union funds totaling $2,839.65. The plea follows an investigation by the Denver District Office.

On March 6, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert Walston and Thaddeus Bania, former President and Comptroller, respectively, of Teamsters Local 743 were indicted as part of a 14-count superseding criminal complaint alleging conspiracy, mail fraud, theft of honest services, and embezzlement of union funds arising from multiple schemes involving the local’s voided October 2004 regular election of officers and a rerun election that was held in December 2004. This indictment supersedes the indictment issued by the grand jury on September 6, 2007 and includes three original defendants who were either officers, agents, or employees of Local 743: Richard Lopez, who was an incumbent candidate for Recording Secretary in 2004 and who also briefly held the position of president after Walston; Cassandra Mosley, a former business agent who resigned in December 2006; and David Rodriguez a former organizer who resigned in July 2007. The superseding information includes a forfeiture allegation of over $2 million dollars in salary, expenses, and benefits. A superseding misdemeanor information was also filed against Mark Jones, a former business agent and director of organizing for the local, involving allegations of opening mail not directed to him relating to the voided mail-ballot election in October 2004. The indictments follow an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

On March 6, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Brad DuBray, former Treasurer of Carpenters Local 113, was sentenced to three years probation, including six months of home confinement, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $12,048.11 and a special assessment of $100. On November 14, 2007, DuBray pled guilty to embezzling union funds in the amount of $14,548.11.The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

On March 4, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Steve Dobyns, former Secretary-Treasurer of Glass Molders Plastics Local 325, was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay the balance of his restitution totaling $415 and a $500 fine. On December 3, 2007, Dobyns pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $865. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.

(dol.gov)

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