Ex-South Florida Boss Sentence to 46 Months

U.S. Dist. Judge William P. Dimitrouleas (S.D. Fla., Clinton) sentenced ousted Broward Teachers Union boss  Anthony J. Gentile to 46-month in prison Feb. 8 on child pornography charges. Gentile, once a giant in Florida education and labor relations circles, struggled to compose himself as he apologized to his family, to the union he helped create, and to the court before his sentence was imposed.

Gentile, who began as a teacher in Pennsylvania and rose to command the fifth-largest teachers union in the country, was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, in addition to the jail time, for indictments in Alabama and Florida. He will not be allowed to work with minors or be involved with youth organizations when he is released.

He was arrested July 26 after he arranged a rendezvous with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl he had befriended on an Internet chat room. The girl turned … Read More ➡

New York Boss Gets Probation for $192,000 Theft

U.S. Dist. Judge Kimba M. Wood (S.D.N.Y., Reagan) sentenced David Blank, ex-secretary-treasurer of Am. Fed’n of Gov’t Employees Local 2094, Jan. 12, 2001, to three years probation and restitution of $192,000, relating to an embezzlement of union funds. The local is connected to the Veterans’ Affairs Medical Ctr. in N.Y.C.

Blank pled guilty to a three-count criminal information charging that from Jan. 1992 to Dec. 1994, he participated in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud. This was accomplished by embezzling Local 2094 funds, and by making false statements to, and concealing from, the Dep’t of Labor, the fact that he and his co-conspirators had embezzled, misappropriated and misdirected union funds. The information also charged Blank with subscribing to a false personal income tax return for the calendar year 1994 and possessing a firearm in a federal facility.

Reportedly, Blank issued union checks to himself and to third parties for their … Read More ➡

Longshore Union Allegedly Infiltrated by Genovese

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn accused imprisoned Genovese crime family boss Vincent “Chin” Gigante and seven associates Jan. 23 of infiltrating the Int’l Longshoreman’s Ass’n. The Genovese used their control of the union to extort money from firms operating on the piers in the N.Y.C. metro area and in Miami, according to a 40- page racketeering indictment announced by U.S. Atty. Alan Vinegrad. Convicted in 1997, Gigante is serving a twelve-year sentence for racketeering, murder conspiracy, and related crimes. Gigante, known for muttering as he walked around Manhattan’s Greenwich Village in a bathrobe, has allegedly continued to run the Genovese family from prison.

Prosecutors allege Gigante obstructed justice during previous trials “by feigning diminished mental capacity.” According to prosecutors, “video and audiotapes of Gigante in prison show that Gigante is a fully coherent, careful and intelligent man. In short, he appears to have ceased feigning mental illness in jail.” Gigante is … Read More ➡

$77.5 Million Suit Against Union Wins Class Action Status

U.S. Dist. Judge Sidney H. Stein (S.D.N.Y., Clinton) granted class certification Jan. 8 to a suit brought by participants in the Int’l Ladies Garment Workers’ Union death benefit fund who allege that the fund violated its fiduciary duties when it transferred $77.5 million of fund assets to the union, which is now part of the Union of Needletrades Indus. & Textile Employees. The fund was established in 1937 and included language prohibiting any withdrawals except for payment of benefits and administrative costs. In 1976, an amendment was added to ILGWU’s constitution that permitted termination of the fund by the union’s board. In 1997, the board terminated the fund and transferred the bulk of the fund’s assets to a new death benefit fund. However, it also transferred $77.5 million of assets to the union itself, and $12.5 million of which was routed to a nonprofit corporation, 21st Century ILGWU Heritage Fund.… Read More ➡

Union, Firms, Settle False Claims Suit for $2.2 Million

U.S. Atty. Thomas M. DiBiagio in Baltimore announced Jan. 17 that the Am. Postal Workers Union, Nat’l Health Servs., Inc., and United Payors & United Providers, Inc. will pay the government nearly $2.2 million to settle charges that they submitted false claims to the government, specifically the Office of Personnel Mgmt.

APWU, through APWU Health Plan, operates a health plan under the Fed. Employees Health Benefits Program. APWU is located in Washington, D.C. and its Health Plan is in Rockville, Md. NHS is provides health care cost containment services such as case management, pre-certification and utilization review and is located in Louisville, Ky. UP&UP is located in Rockville and provides access to its preferred provider network to reduce health care costs. Both companies were acquired in Mar. 2000 by BCE Emergis Corp. of Canada

The government’s audit focused on health care cost containment contracts between the APWU Health Plan, NHS … Read More ➡

Ohio Boss Accused of Taking $145,000

In Dec. 2000, ex-treasurer of Int’l Ass’n of Fire Fighters Local 639, Richard Adams, resigned suddenly when the local’s bank accounts came up some $143,000 short. He then paid $65,000 in partial restitution for funds he allegedly embezzled from the Parma, Ohio based local since 1987.  Then on Jan. 17, Adams was charged with one count of federal bank fraud. The U.S. Atty.’s Office in Cleveland said Adams once made a $3,139 house payment with a union check. But, according to the Dep’t of Labor, the union embezzlement totaled $144,939.46 and final restitution will be based on that amount. Because of a loophole in federal labor labor, a federal union embezzlement charge could not be brought since Local 639 is a public sector union.

Despite the local’s request that the matter be resolved internally, Parma Law Director Tim Dobeck called in the FBI and DOL to investigate in Feb. 2001. … Read More ➡

Boss’ Scams Cost D.C. Local $20,600

Ex-president  of Am. Fed’n of Gov’t Employees Local 1812, Hope Butler, pled guilty Dec. 7 to a federal felony charge of making false statements. The plea related to her unlawful conduct while serving as president of the Washington, D.C. based local, which is linked to the U.S. Info. Agency, from 1996 to 2000. At the same time, Butler’s sister-in-law, co-defendant Nadine Crump Butler pled guilty to misdemeanor first-degree fraud.  From about Mar. 1999 to Apr. 2000, Butler and Crump Butler engaged in a fraudulent scheme to extract funds from the local.

On numerous occasions, Butler presented blank local checks to other local bosses authorized to co-sign them, and obtained their signatures. Butler signed nine of those checks, totaling $14,250, to “Nadine Crump and Associates” or “Nadine Crump.” To justify the checks, Butler caused invoices from “Crump & Associates” to be kept and maintained in the local’s records. These invoices typically … Read More ➡

Five Allegedly Stole $71,000 from Atlantic City Local

N.J. Police announced Jan. 2 that they have charged five people with conspiring to steal from  Atlantic City’s largest union, in an embezzlement scheme that allegedly drained at least $71,000 from the severance fund of Local 54 of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union.  Mariana Candelaria, who works for Garden State Benefit Servs. Inc., the company that administers the local’s severance and pension funds from desks inside Local 54’s office, was arrested on Dec. 21. Candelaria allegedly conspired with an ex-colleague and three outsiders by falsifying claims for severance payouts and then issuing and cashing the checks. Police charged Candelaria with embezzling more than $50,000, along with conspiracy, forgery, and theft by deception after an investigation by Detectives Edward Riegel and Brian Paige.

Local 54 vice president Al Cohen attempted to distance himself and other bosses from the thefts. He claimed that union members were the victims of … Read More ➡

Atlantic City Local’s PAC Settles Late Filing Charge

The N.J. Election Law Enforcement Comm’n recently filed charges against a political action committee maintained by the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union Local 54, claiming the union failed to file timely reports during 1999 and 2000. NJELEC found in some cases that the Atlantic City local filed its reports 307 days late.

PACs, which are comprised of two or more persons who act jointly to aid or promote candidates for elected office, are required to file quarterly reports with NJELEC. N.J. State law also requires PACs to report all political donations of $600 or more that are made between Sept. and the date of a general election within 48 hours. Failure to file timely reports carries a maximum fine of $3,500 for each unreported transaction. In one count of the charges against Local 54, the union failed to report 20 transactions.

Local 54 president Robert McDevitt said the … Read More ➡

Philadelphia Boss Sentenced for $3,400 Theft

On Jan. 17, James Bryant, ex-secretary-treasurer of Am. Fed’n of Gov’t Employees Local 2061 in Philadelphia, was sentenced to three years probation, ordered to make restitution of $1,980, and fined $500. (He had previously made restitution of $1,500.) He had pled guilty on Sept. 12, to two counts of theft by unlawful taking $3,480 within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. Local 2061 is connected to the Gen. Serv. Admin. [DOL 1/17/02]

Chicago Union Found Guilty of Defamation
Int’l Union of Operating Eng’rs Local 150’s statement on picket signs that a construction subcontractor was not paying its workers prevailing wages and benefits constituted defamation, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled Jan. 11  Reversing a lower court’s ruling, the appeals court found the statement was harmful to Lowe Excavating Co.’s reputation because the company was required by federal law to pay prevailing wages and benefits for work on the federally funded construction … Read More ➡