Sharon Ann Burt, secretary of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 611, was sentenced in federal court to one year in prison for embezzling $72,701 in union funds. Federal prosecutors said that Burt, 49, a resident of Fort Payne, Alabama, in the northeast part of the state, wrote checks without authorization, paid her bills with union money, and doctored bank statements delivered to her personal post office box. She was indicted last May and pleaded guilty to embezzlement and mail fraud in October. Local 611 represented employees at the Earthgrains plant in Fort Payne, which closed in 2005. (Gadsden Times, 3/14/07; Huntsville Times, 3/15/07).
Pittsburgh-Area Local Chieftain Pleads Guilty to Thefts
On March 6, Christine Smith, former president of Local 2028 of the American Federation of Government Employees, pled guilty in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Allegheny County Court, to one count of theft by deception and one count of forgery. She was sentenced to seven years of probation for each count, set to run consecutively, and will be required to make restitution in the amount of $64,299. She also was barred from holding union office for 13 years. Smith had made an initial restitution payment of $3,000. To satisfy future claims, she will have to sell or refinance any properties she owns by the end of July or face incarceration. She had been indicted last April on 53 counts of embezzlement. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 3/13/07).
Former President of St. Louis-Area Local Sentenced
On March 2, Mary Love, former president of AFGE Local 96, was sentenced in federal court for the Eastern District of Missouri to 18 months of incarceration to be followed by three years of probation for theft and filing false reports. She also will have to make restitution in the amount of $69,725.80. A fellow co-defendant, Danna France, sentenced earlier this year, will be held jointly and severally liable for $26,950.90 of this sum. Love had been convicted in November on two counts of making a false statement on a financial reporting form and one count of larceny. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Department of Labor. (OLMS, 3/13/07).
Kansas Local President, Treasurer Indicted for Embezzlement
On February 28, Dwayne Giles and William Kendrick, former president and treasurer of American Postal Workers Union Local 238, based in Kansas City, Kan., were indicted for conspiring to embezzle union funds. During the period April 2003-August 2004, Giles and Kendrick allegedly co-signed a series of checks from a union-held account allowing them to steal, respectively, $15,589 and $26,237. The charges follow a Labor Department investigation. (OLMS, 3/13/07).
Illinois Local Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced for Theft, Cover-up
On February 27, Penny Suddith, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 14426, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to six months of home confinement to be followed by three years of probation. She also was ordered to pay $18,906.88 in restitution to the Peoria-based union. She had pleaded guilty in November to one count of filing false reports. (OLMS, 3/13/07).
Secretary of Las Vegas Local Pleads Guilty to Theft
On February 21, Tiffany Stone (Huntsman), former dues clerk for Sheet Metal Workers Local 88, pleaded guilty in Justice Court for Las Vegas Township, Clark County, Nevada to one count of theft of union funds, agreeing to pay $10,000 in restitution. She was indicted for theft last September. (OLMS, 3/13/07).
Ex-Treasurer in Southern Illinois Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
On March 1, Vicky Liefer, former secretary-treasurer for Local 1458 of the United Mine Workers, pled guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to embezzling more than $5,000 in union funds. She was indicted in January. (OLMS, 3/13/07).