Washington, DC (CompNewsNetwork) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) today announced its criminal enforcement data for December 2008. During the month, OLMS obtained six convictions and nine indictments, and payments or orders of restitution totaled more than $57,700. The office's December results bring its totals for fiscal year 2009, which began on October 1, 2008, to 31 indictments, 24 convictions and payments or orders of restitution of $1,585,872. The bulk of the cases involved the embezzlement of union funds. In addition, OLMS' cumulative enforcement results from the beginning of fiscal year 2001 include 1,004 indictments, 929 convictions, and payments or orders of restitution of $93,110,576.
"OLMS has a vital mission to protect union members from financial abuses and other crimes by those who serve in positions of trust. For the last eight years, we have improved financial transparency and vigorously pursued those who abuse their union offices, leading to more than 1,000 indictments and more than 900 convictions," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Standards Don Todd. "OLMS' enforcement efforts speak to the dedication and commitment of our agency's outstanding investigators and staff. Their efforts ultimately benefit union members, who might otherwise find no recourse when abuses occur."
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 receives and publicly discloses unions' annual financial reports, conducts compliance audits of labor unions and seeks civil remedies for violations of officer election procedures. In certain cases, OLMS conducts joint investigations with other Labor Department agencies, including the Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Office of Inspector General, as well as other law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
OLMS' public disclosure Web site at www.unionreports.gov contains union financial reports, conflict-of-interest disclosure reports, copies of collective bargaining agreements and other data. Other information, including synopses of OLMS enforcement actions, is available at www.olms.dol.gov.
Editor's Notes: A listing of selected OLMS enforcement actions during December 2008 accompanies is below. An indictment is the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal charges and indictments noted in these materials are accusations only.
Selected Enforcement Actions in December 2008
Office of Labor-Management Standards
U.S. Department of Labor
Former Glass Molders Local 285 President Sentenced for Embezzlement of Union Funds
On Dec. 1, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Jeanette McFarland, former president of the Glass Molders and Plastics Union Local 285 (located in Fort Wayne, Ind.) was sentenced to six months imprisonment (with credit given for time served) and three years supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,604.04. On Sept. 18, 2008, McFarland pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.
Former Steelworkers Local 1124 Officer Sentenced for Embezzling More Than $15,000 in Union Funds
On Dec.16, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Kenneth Saltz Jr., former president of the Steelworkers Local 1124 (located in Massillon, Ohio), was sentenced to six months home confinement with electronic monitoring and two years probation. On Sept. 30, 2008, Saltz pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $15,809.03 after making restitution. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.
Former OPEIU Local 339 Officer Sentenced for Embezzling Union Funds
On Dec. 19, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Roxanne Eye, former treasurer of Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 339 (located in Brook Park, Ohio), was sentenced to two years probation and 60 hours of community service. On June 10, 2008, Eye pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $9,296. Eye previously made restitution in the same amount. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.
Former ATU Local 1197 President Sentenced for Embezzling More Than $16,000 in Union Funds
On Dec. 30, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Luther L. Corey, former president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1197 (located in Jacksonville, Fla.), was sentenced to 180 days home confinement and four years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100 and make restitution in the amount of $16,288.37. On Oct. 1, 2008, Corey pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds in the same amount. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.
Former APWU Local 190 President Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
On Dec. 5, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Gary Weightman, former president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 190 (located in Clifton, N.J.), pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion. Weightman originally was charged with conspiracy to embezzle union funds in the amount of approximately $400,000. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.
Former Roofers Local 74 Officer Pleads Guilty to Falsification Union Records
On Dec. 23, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Michael Pagano, former business agent/secretary-treasurer of Roofers, Local 74 (located in West Seneca, N.Y.), pleaded guilty to falsifying and destroying union records. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.
Criminal Charges and Indictments
Former RWDSU Local 665 Officer Charged with Making False Statements
On Dec. 1, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, an information was filed charging Kenneth L. Holman, former secretary-treasurer of Retail, Wholesale Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 665 (located in Ishpeming, Mich.), with making a false statement or representation of a material fact on the local's 2003 and 2004 annual financial reports. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.
Former Teamsters Local 206 Employee Charged with Embezzling Union Funds
On Dec. 1, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, an information was filed charging Diane Martin, former clerk of Teamsters Local 206 (located in Portland, Ore.), with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $1,535. The information follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.
Former AFGE Local 2063 President Charged with Wired Fraud
On Dec. 3, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, Fidel R. Garza, former president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2063 (located in Albuquerque N.M.), was indicted on 58 counts each of wire fraud and deprivation of honest services associated with defrauding the local of approximately $84,000 in union funds. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver District Office.
Former IBEW Local 886 Officer Charged with Embezzling Union Funds
On Dec. 4, in the Hennepin County District Court of Minnesota, William Thomas Brown, former financial secretary-treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 886 (located in New Hope, Minn.), was charged with one felony count of theft over $1,000. Brown is alleged to have taken union funds in the amount of $6,467.05. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office.
Former Soft Drink Workers Union Treasurer Charged with Embezzling More Than $11,000
On Dec. 11, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, James Decker, former treasurer of the Independent Soft Drink Workers Union (formerly located in Burlington, Ky.), was charged with embezzling $11,380.37 in union funds. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.
Former American Federation of Teachers Local 3845 Treasurer Charged with Embezzling More Than $40,000 in Union Funds and Making False Statements
On Dec. 11, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Pennsylvania, Peter Rhein, former treasurer of Local 3845 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.) was indicted on six counts of embezzling union funds totaling more than $40,000 and eight counts of making a false statement. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.
Former Texas BCTC Employee Charged with Embezzling More Than $44,000 Union Funds
On Dec. 16, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Sarah Crafts, former office manager of Texas Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC, located in Austin, Texas), was charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $27,197 and with one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $17,478. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS New Orleans District Office.
Former AFSCME Local 11 Treasurer Charged with Embezzling More Than $15,000
On Dec. 17, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Jack Hooks, former treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 11, Chapter 7010 (located in Mansfield, Ohio), was indicted on one count of embezzling $15,192 and two counts of falsifying union records. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.
Former APWU Local 1091 President Charged with Grand Larceny
On Dec. 17, in the Criminal Court of White Plains, N.Y., Thomas Daniels, former president of APWU 1091 (located in White Plains, N.Y.), was charged with one count of grand larceny in the third degree for the theft of approximately $4,250 in union funds. The charge follows a joint investigation by OLMS New York District Office and the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General.
Enforcement Actions and Civil Complaints
NPMHU Local 308 Enters into Voluntary Compliance Agreement with OLMS
On Dec. 17, OLMS entered into a voluntary compliance agreement with the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 308 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.) concerning the election of officers conducted on Feb.16, 2008. The union agreed to conduct new nominations and a new election, under OLMS supervision, for the offices of branch president-Philadelphia Bulk Mail Center and Pennsylvania state executive board member. The OLMS investigation of the challenged election disclosed that the union improperly applied a candidate eligibility requirement, which denied a member in good standing the right to be a candidate. The agreement follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.