11/20/07

Unions kept OLMS very busy in October

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) today announced its criminal enforcement data for October 2007. OLMS obtained 16 indictments and five convictions during the first month of fiscal year 2008, and court-ordered restitution in October amounted to $63,499.

These indictments and convictions primarily involve union officers and employees who have embezzled union funds.

"OLMS begins this new fiscal year with renewed vigilance on behalf of rank-and-file union members," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Standards Don Todd. "Our efforts have resulted in convictions of individuals found guilty of wrongdoing against unions, and we are proud of our results in protecting America's union members. Since fiscal year 2001, OLMS investigations have yielded a total of 856 indictments with 806 convictions and court-ordered restitution of more than $102 million."

OLMS is the federal law 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 http://www.unionreports.gov contains union annual financial reports and additional forms required to be filedunder the LMRDA. Other information, including synopses of OLMS enforcement actions, is available on OLMS's home page at http://www.olms.dol.gov.

A listing of selected OLMS enforcement actions during October 2007 accompanies this release.

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

Sentencings

On October 24, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Willie Haynes, former financial secretary of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Local 362, was sentenced to one year probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and a $25 special assessment. Haynes had made restitution in the amount of $10,201.42. On July 9, Haynes pled guilty to willfully making false statements on the local's annual financial reports for the years 2001, 2002 and 2003. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

On October 23, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, Thomas Saltzman, former secretary-treasurer of the United Transportation Union Local 418, was sentenced to five months imprisonment for embezzling union funds in the amount of $35,528.06. Upon his release from prison, Saltzman will be on supervised release for three years and must make restitution. On August 9, Saltzman pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Kansas City Resident Office.

On October 18, in the Justice Court of Copiah County, Miss., Luke Funchess, Roger Hartley, Charles Funchess, Patricia West-Benson and Jack Virgil, former officers of the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers-Communications Workers of America Local 83-799, were charged with one count of obtaining signature or thing of value with intent to defraud. The former officers filed false lost time vouchers to obtain funds from the local union. Subsequently, the former officers each pled guilty to the offense and were ordered to pay court fees and restitution. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS New Orleans District Office.

On October 5, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Thomas R. Ehlis, former secretary-treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1768, was sentenced to two years probation for embezzling union funds in the amount of $5,619. Ehlis had previously made restitution of the full amount. On May 17, Ehlis was charged with one count of embezzlement of union assets in the same amount. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.

On October 1, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, Dwayne Giles, former president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 238, was sentenced to five years probation for conspiracy to embezzle union funds. As special conditions of his probation, Giles was ordered to make $11,959.44 in restitution and serve six months in home confinement. On May 30, Giles pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle union funds in the same amount. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Kansas City Resident Office.

Guilty Pleas

On October 29, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Mary Hartsock, former office manager of Laborers Local 1358, pled guilty to embezzling funds of a labor organization. Hartsock admitted to taking $17,958 in receipts from the local union between January 2002 and January 2007. This plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.

On October 29, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Ron Schweitzer, former president of Steelworkers Local 05-1967, pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $58,305. On April 4, Schweitzer was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

On October 18, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Heather Lott, former bookkeeper of Teamsters Local 19, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $140,000. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS New Orleans District Office.

On October 17, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Sandra Gorman, former treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 11's Ohio Department of Transportation(ODOT) Assembly, pled guilty to one count of falsification of union records. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.

On October 12, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Kathy Rankin, former financial secretary-treasurer for Transportation Communications Union Local 512, pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $15,622.34. Sentencing has been scheduled for December 21. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.

On October 12, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Denise Nichols, former financial secretary-treasurer of Communication Workers of America Local 4050, pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $3,804.20. On August 31, Nichols was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

On October 2, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Danny E. Beyser, former financial secretary of Mineworkers Local 1638, pled guilty to embezzling more than $70,000 in union funds. On June 5, Beyser was charged with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $83,274.39. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office.

Criminal Charges and Indictments

On October 23, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Stephen Priest, former financial secretary of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Local 1516, was indicted on 12 counts of embezzling funds of a labor organization in the amount of $97,899.19. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.

On October 11, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, an indictment was unsealed charging Donna Hammock, also known as Donna Jackson and Donna Jones, former president of the National Federation of Federal Employees Local 2096, with two counts of making false and fraudulent statements to a federal department or agency. The indictment alleges that Hammock willfully made false and fraudulent statements and representations as to material facts on the local's Form LM-3. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On October 11, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, an indictment was unsealed charging Esau Faaitiiti and Arthur Clark, former president and vice president, respectively, of the Department of Defense Police Officers Association Local 57 (now known as the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 12), with making false statements and aiding and abetting. The indictment alleges that Faaitiiti and Clark knowingly and willfully omitted payments they received from the union, in the amounts of $5,000 for Faaitiiti and $9,900 for Clark, on the local's Form LM- 3. The indictments follow an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On October 3, in the Circuit Court of Wayne County, Ind., Curtis Pittinger, former president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2043, was charged with three counts of theft of approximately $10,300 in union funds. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

On October 2, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Curtis Smith and Steve Dobyns, former president and secretary-treasurer, respectively, of Glass Molders Plastics Local 325, were charged with embezzling union funds. Smith was charged with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $904.48, while Dobyns was charged with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $850. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.


U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.

(prnewswire.com)

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