Christina Geathers probably hasn’t endeared herself to rank and file with United Steelworkers Local 357. That’s because much of her income represented stolen dues. Geathers, formerly local financial secretary-treasurer with the Georgetown, South Carolina union, was sentenced on March 8 in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to time served to be followed by three years of supervised release, of which 16 months must be served in home confinement. She also will have to pay restitution.
Federal prosecutors charged that Geathers, 46, a resident of Georgetown, during the period March 2004-July 2007 had embezzled $36,794 from the union. She wrote 179 unauthorized checks to herself by signing her name or forging the union president’s name and also made 43 unauthorized cash withdrawals with a union ATM check card. An audit of the local’s finances by the parent Steelworkers union uncovered the embezzlement. Geathers confessed to union officials that she stole the money. An investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Relations revealed a pattern of theft, resulting in a Justice Department prosecution and her guilty plea last August.