On July 6 and July 17, respectively, Thomas Harrington and Timothy Grimm, members of International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1, were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and ordered to make full restitution to union benefit plans. The pair had run a ghost-worker scheme related to work on the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority Building at 2 Broadway in Manhattan. Grimm previously had pleaded guilty to conspiracy, making false ERISA statements, money laundering and unlawful labor payments. He was given three years probation, and ordered to pay back nearly $45,000, an order of forfeiture of nearly $27,000 and a $200 assessment; he also will have to perform 200 hours of community service. Harrington, who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to extort, was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to make $50,000 in restitution. The sentences follow a joint federal investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Employee Benefits Security Administration, the FBI and the IRS. (OLMS, 7/19/06).
Syracuse, N.Y. Secretary-Treasurer Indicted for Embezzlement
James G. Russell served as secretary-treasurer of the Stage and Picture Operators for eight years, and nobody suspected anything. It was after his June 2005 departure that the union’s new leadership sensed something was wrong. Russell, 75, a resident of Syracuse, N.Y., had served two four-year terms. His successors noticed the books didn’t balance, and reported the problem to the Department of Labor, which in turn concluded Russell had been stealing. On July 11, Russell pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment that he’d embezzled nearly $54,000 in union funds. The case is set to go to trial September 5. (Syracuse Post-Standard, 7/13/06).
New Orleans President Sentenced, Forced to Pay Restitution
On June 29, Roy Jones, ex-president of Communications Workers of America Local 3450, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to three years probation for embezzling more than $66,000 in union funds, 10 months of which would include electronically-monitored home detention, and ordered to pay $64,021 in restitution. Jones had pleaded guilty in March. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 7/19/06).
Oklahoma Local President Given Probation for Embezzlement
On July 12, Linda Logan, former president of Glass, Molders, and Plastics Local 325, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to five years probation and ordered to pay $13,600 in restitution to the union. She had pleaded guilty in April to embezzlement in the amount of $14,550. (OLMS, 7/19/06).
Secretary-Treasurer in Arizona Charged with Theft
On July 13, Janalyn Buseck, formerly secretary-treasurer for Local 2595 of the American Federation of Government Employees, was charged in Arizona Superior Court in Yuma County, with one count of theft greater than $3,000 but less than $25,000, and one count of theft greater than $3,000 but less than $25,000 by obtaining property of another through misrepresentation with the intent to deprive. (OLMS, 6/17/06).
Former Bookkeeper in Atlanta Indicted for Theft
On July 11, Suzanne Green, former bookkeeper for Local 613 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was indicted in Fulton County (Georgia) District Court on one count of theft of more than $11,000. (OLMS, 7/19/06).
Ex-Bookkeeper in Washington State Sentenced
On June 23, Kimberly Solheim, formerly bookkeeper for Division 402 of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, was sentenced in federal court to fourteen days in prison to be followed by one year of supervised probation for making false entries in union records. She also was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $6,658. The union is based in Pasco, in the southern part of Washington State, west of Walla Walla. (OLMS, 7/19).
Ex-California President Pleads Guilty to False Record-Keeping
On June 29, Richard Mullenix, former president of NorCal Beverage Employees Union, pled guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to one count of making false entries in union records and one count of aiding and abetting. He was ordered to complete one year of supervised probation and pay a $1,000 fine. (OLMS, 7/19/06).