Richard Vincent was an officer of a union representing federal prison guards. He can count his blessings that for the next few years he won’t have to live in a nearby state prison. On August 26, Vincent, formerly treasurer of Local 3951 of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), was sentenced in Cambria County, Pennsylvania (Johnstown) Court to seven years probation for embezzling $43,794 in union funds. He also will have to pay full restitution and court costs of $900.
Vincent, 43, a resident of Altoona, wrote $20,105 in unauthorized union checks to “cash” plus another $23,689 in union checks to buy merchandise for his own purposes. In all, court documents reveal, he wrote 62 illegal checks. Though AFGE Local 3951 represents employees at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pa., prosecutors decided against trying the case in federal court because they believed the evidence would be easier to prove in a state court, noted Cambria County District Attorney Patrick Kiniry. The investigation came about when the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards discovered the union had not submitted required financial disclosure reports for the years 2005 and 2006. Local detectives then probed the misappropriation of funds, resulting in Vincent’s dismissal from the union.