Ava Ramey at one time was a courtroom security officer. Now she knows what it feels like to be escorted to the door by one. Yesterday, on January 8, Ramey, an ex-trustee of United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) Local 21, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to two years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling nearly $380,000 from the Bowie, Md.-based union over a nearly four-year period. She also will have to make full restitution. She had been charged in June, and pleaded guilty later that month. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Federal prosecutors had charged that Ramey, now 61, a resident of Bowie, during the course of December 2005-October 2009, while serving as an assistant trustee and then as a trustee for UGSOA Local 21, made numerous unauthorized withdrawals from union accounts for her own personal use. Specifically, Ramey did the following: wrote more than $80,000 in checks either to herself or “cash”; made more than $70,000 in purchases of merchandise with a union debit card; withdrew more than $60,000 from a union account at various ATM machines; withdrew in person or transferred to her personal account more than $100,000 in union funds; and wrote more than $60,000 in union checks to family members. All this added up to at least $379,000 in thefts. According to her guilty plea, many unauthorized ATM transactions occurred at casinos in Delaware and elsewhere along the East Coast. Union rank and file should feel a little more secure now that Ramey no longer is around to steal their dues.
Ex-Trustee of Security Officers Local in Maryland Charged with $375K+ Theft; Pleads Guilty