10/19/07

Union funds embezzlement: Indictments, convictions

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) on October 16 announced its criminal enforcement data for September 2007.

During September, OLMS obtained 13 indictments and seven convictions, for a total of 97 indictments and 115 convictions during fiscal year 2007. These indictments and convictions primarily involve union officers and employees who have embezzled union funds resulting in court-ordered restitution back to the unions of more than $31.5 million.

"In this fiscal year, OLMS's efforts resulted in 115 convictions of individuals found guilty of wrongdoing against unions. Our vigilance on behalf of rank-and-file union members punishes criminal behavior and protects union members, and we are proud of our results." said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Standards Don Todd. "Since fiscal year 2001, OLMS investigations have yielded a total of 834 indictments with 796 convictions and court-ordered restitution of nearly $102 million."

OLMS is the federal enforcement agency responsible for administering most provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). The agency's criminal enforcement program includes investigations of embezzlement from labor organizations, extortionate picketing, deprivation of union members' rights by force or violence, and fraud in union officer elections. The agency's civil program collects and publicly discloses unions' annual financial reports, conducts compliance audits of labor unions and seeks civil remedies for violations of officer election procedures.

OLMS's public disclosure Web page at www.unionreports.gov contains union annual financial reports and additional forms required to be filed under the LMRDA. Other information, including synopses of OLMS enforcement actions, is available on OLMS's home page at www.olms.dol.gov.

A listing of selected OLMS enforcement actions during September 2007 is below.

Selected Enforcement Actions in September 2007
Office of Labor-Management Standards
U.S. Department of Labor

Sentencings
On September 20, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Jeffrey Klope, former financial secretary of Boilermakers Lodge 8-S, was sentenced to three years probation for embezzling union funds in the amount of $25,794. Under the special conditions of his probation, Klope is required to spend the first six months on home detention and perform 100 hours of public service. On June 13, Klope pled guilty to embezzling union funds in the same amount; Klope had previously paid full restitution to the union. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.

On September 20, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, James Douglas, former secretary-treasurer of Glass Molders Plastic Local 220, was sentenced to two years probation and 240 hours of community service after pleading guilty to concealing, withholding and destroying union records. He destroyed union records to conceal his embezzlement of $12,857 from the union. Douglas repaid the union prior to sentencing, which follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.

On September 20, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Jose Ocasio, former secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 404, was sentenced to two years probation and 240 hours of community service after pleading guilty to making false entries in union records. He made false entries in the union's records in order to conceal his embezzlement of $9,083. Ocasio made full restitution to the union before sentencing, which follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.

On September 17, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Marlene Watson, former president of the Associated Field Representatives, was sentenced to 12 months probation for falsification of an annual financial report filed by a labor union. Watson previously made restitution in the amount of $9,030. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.

On September 6, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Nathaniel Marc Greene, former president of AFGE Local 2562, was sentenced to10 months confinement, three years probation, ordered to pay a special assessment of $100, and ordered to pay restitution totaling $55,955.76. Greene knowingly and willfully made or used a false writing or document and knew the local's Form LM-3 contained a materially false statement or entry at the time he made or used the report. On April 4, Greene pled guilty to one count of making a false statement. The sentencing follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office and the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of the Inspector General.

Guilty Pleas
On September 11, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Joseph Capece, former business manger/financial-secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 163 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $256,000. On September 4, Capece was charged with knowingly and willfully embezzling union funds in the same amount. The information and plea follow an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.

On September 11, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, William J. Pagano, former secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 78, pled guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds totaling $66,759.18. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.

Criminal Charges and Indictments
On September 26, in the District Court for Douglas County, Wisconsin, John F. Sigafus, former secretary-treasurer of Machinists Local Lodge 335-W, was charged with business theft over $5,000 and forgery. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Milwaukee District Office.

On September 25, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Frank M. McEvoy, former business manager/secretary-treasurer for Laborers Locals 1370 and 123, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $11,167.50 from Local 1370 and one count of embezzling union funds totaling $23,779 from Local 123. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Nashville District Office.

On September 24, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Paula Adair-Butts, former office secretary of Plasterers Local 577, was indicted on four counts of embezzling union funds in the amount of $28,480.96. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver District Office.

On September 11, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, former Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Division 37 secretary-treasurer Randy Greear was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $22,691.60. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On September 6, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Richard Lopez, Mark Jones, Cassandra Mosely and David Rodriquez, current president, former business agents and former organizer, respectively, of Teamsters Local 743, were indicted on one count of conspiracy to deprive Local 743 members of their honest services and to embezzle, or steal, the official ballots in the 2004 election of officers. Lopez and Jones were each charged with one count each of embezzlement or theft of union property, that being the official ballots, while Moseley and Rodriquez were each charged with two counts of embezzlement or theft of union property, also being the official ballots. The indictment alleges that between August and December 2004, Lopez, Mosely, Jones and Rodriguez engaged in a scheme to rig the election by diverting official ballot packages to their friends, family and associates, and casting the ballots or causing them to be cast in both the October and December 2004 elections for incumbent officers, known as the "Unity Slate," to ensure their election. The seven-count indictment follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office, the Department of Labor and U.S. Postal Service Offices of the Inspector General.

(reliableplant.com)

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