Michael Pingatore was clever enough to evade detection – but only for a time. On July 23, the former secretary-treasurer of the Delaware Rural Letter Carriers Association pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing $58,908.38 from his union over a four-year period. Pingatore, 47, during 2002-06 had diverted association funds to a personal checking account by writing unauthorized checks to himself and by starting a credit card on a union bank account without approval. In all, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Kravetz, Pingatore conducted dozens of transactions ranging anywhere from $12 to $6,727. At his hearing, he pleaded guilty to all six charges of embezzlement in exchange for a promise by prosecutors not to bring additional charges related to the thefts. The union represents about 400 letter carriers in the state. (Delaware Online, 7/23/07).
Maryland Local Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement
Walter Fisher needed some extra cash. Unfortunately, he used his union as the dispensary. In Baltimore, on July 27, U.S. District Judge Benson Legg sentenced Fisher to six months in prison and six months of home confinement for embezzling about $45,000 in funds from his union. Fisher during 1999-2004 had served as secretary-treasurer of Local 1949 of the United Transportation Union, based in Ellicott City, Maryland. An audit by the parent union revealed Fisher embezzled about $15,000 in 2003. That sum proved to be a third of his actual take. Fisher, who pleaded guilty early in May, also must pay $45,000 in restitution. UTU Local 1949 represents rail yard masters with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak and Conrail in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. (Baltimore Sun, 7/28/07).
Former Secretary of Kansas Union Pleads Guilty to Theft
On July 25, Kelli-Tyrell Moore, former executive assistant of the Kansas State Nurses Association, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to one count of embezzling $63,397.16 in union funds. She had been indicted in April. The action comes after an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 8/3/07).
Top Aide to Secretary-Treasurer Charged with Theft
On July 30, Bradley Burton, former executive assistant to the secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, pleaded guilty in District of Columbia Superior Court to an information count of theft for getting the AFL-CIO to cover $7,663.34 in meal expenses for his wife. He had been charged earlier that day with second-degree theft. He received a suspended 180-day sentence, 70 hours of community service, one year of probation, plus an order to pay a $350 fine and any outstanding restitution. (OLMS, 8/3/07).