7/10/08

Organized labor's crime-wave epidemic

More union embezzlement stories: here

Fed watchdog backs up sorry local law enforcement

So far this fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Labor has 59 convictions and 76 indictments, with most cases involving the embezzlement of union members' money. The federal agency’s Office of Labor-Management Standards investigates reports of fiscal irregularities with union funds and other potentially criminal behavior, such as election fraud.

In April, the agency’s enforcement office gained 15 criminal convictions or guilty pleas nationwide – all of which involved some form of theft of union funds. In the same month, the office had five indictments for theft or embezzlement of union money, including the charges against Richard Vincent, former treasurer of the union at the federal prison in Loretto, PA.

Other charges filed nationwide at the same time, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, include:

• A former secretary of Ironworkers Local 709 in Georgia was charged with embezzling $51,684.

• A former president of Steelworkers Local 1-962 in Ohio was charged with the theft of $770.

• A former secretary of Bakery, Tobacco and Grain Local 482 in Florida was indicted for embezzling more than $17,000.

• A former financial secretary of Steelworkers Local 9349 in Minnesota was charged with theft of funds by false representation in excess of $2,500.

Of the five cases, two were filed in federal courts and three – including charges against Vincent – were filed in county courts.

In the seven Department of Labor sentencings in April, penalties included restitution and supervised probation ranging from one to five years.

Only one sentence included jail time, and that was for one day. Another sentence included home confinement for six months, according to agency reports.

(tribune-democrat.com)

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