Andrew Thibodeau had a variety of ways of stealing. In the end, he couldn’t maintain the ruse. On October 24, Thibodeau, former secretary-treasurer for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1433, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut to three months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, for embezzling $70,379.30 from the Kensington, Conn.-based union. He also was ordered to make full restitution. Thibodeau had pleaded guilty in April immediately following the reading of the charges. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to prosecutors, Thibodeau, now 72, a resident of East Hartford, defrauded his union, which represents workers at the Stanley Black & Decker plant in New Britain, Conn. Having begun his position in 2004, at some point after that he issued unauthorized paychecks to himself, on occasion forging the signature of another union official to get the bank to cash the checks. He also reimbursed himself out of union funds for nonexistent outlays for maintenance, officer duties and supplies. Moreover, he made unauthorized charges to his union credit card, paid the resulting bills out of union funds, and then wrote a check to himself for the same amount. Thibodeau’s lenient sentence owed in part to his age and quick guilty plea of a half-year ago.