Bronx Police Union President Charged with Embezzlement

It’s a recurring story in the world of law enforcement: A police officer, sworn to uphold the law, uses his union office to break it. New York City provides the latest example. On May 3, Victor Davila, former president of the Hunts Point Police Benevolent Association, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with embezzling more than $35,000 from the union by making unauthorized debit card charges and cash withdrawals. He also was arrested that day. The case follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of labor-Management Standards.

The Hunts Point Police Benevolent Association (HPPBA), an affiliate of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, represents law enforcement officers who patrol the Hunts Point market in the Bronx, New York City. During roughly March 2011-March 2014, Victor Davila, 50, a resident of the Bronx, headed the union. And according to federal prosecutors, he also stole …

Jury Acquits Tulsa Cop in Shooting Death; Sharpton, Other Activists Cry ‘Racism’

It’s not easy to stand in the shoes of a police officer in immediate danger. But an Oklahoma jury proved it was up to the task. Last Wednesday evening, following nine hours of deliberation, jurors acquitted Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby of first-degree manslaughter in the death last September of a PCP-fueled black male suspect, Terence Crutcher. That confrontation, caught on video, gained national attention following accusations that Shelby, who is white, was racially motivated. Yet evidence indicates that any cop, regardless of race, would have acted similarly. That hasn’t dissuaded “civil rights” brigades, from Al Sharpton to Black Lives Matter activists to Crutcher family members themselves, from insisting that a hate crime and cover-up were committed. Their accusations have no basis in fact.

National Legal and Policy Center described this incident and its context early last October, along with a similar one occurring during that time in Charlotte. …

Chicago-Area Family Sentenced in Benefit Scheme; Union Plans among Those Fleeced

To find the most flagrant cases of fraud against unions, health plans are among the first places to look. A trio of family members in north suburban Chicago has joined the parade of guilty third-party administrators. On Monday, April 24, a chiropractor, his brother and their father were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for their roles in a six-year scam that generated nearly $29 million in phony billings costing insurance carriers over $10.8 million. Union plans were among the victims. The main defendants, Dr. Vladimir Gordin Jr., Alexsander Gordin and Vladimir Gordin Sr., operators of a clinic in Wheeling, Ill., received prison sentences, respectively, of seven years, two years and two-and-a half years. They and two other persons had pleaded guilty following a multi-agency probe.

The Gordin Medical Center was a chiropractic clinic in Wheeling, a fast-growing community located along the northern edge of …

SMART Secretary-Treasurer in Atlanta Pleads Guilty to Theft

On March 24, Jay Roy, former secretary-treasurer of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 1245-Transportation Division, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $2,125 from the Atlanta-based union. He also agreed to make restitution in the much larger sum of $101,019. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Steelworkers Financial Secretary in Delaware Charged with Records Fraud

On March 28, Herbert White, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 8936, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in an information count with making a false entry in union records. The charge is on top of an earlier one in January 2016 accusing White of embezzling $24,287 in funds from the Wilmington union. Each charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Plumbers Office Manager in Arkansas Pleads Guilty to $400K+ Ripoff

For more than a decade, Jeni May Hughes managed to avoid detection. Her main concern now is whether she will be able to repay the towering sum of money that she stole. Last Wednesday, on May 10, Hughes, former office manager for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 155, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to embezzling more than $400,000 from the Little Rock-based union. She had been charged in a one-count information on April 10 following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor Management Standards. She faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to federal prosecutors, Hughes, a resident of Jacksonville (Pulaski County), Ark., during January 2005-March 2016 diverted union funds to her own personal use. At the time of the charge, the missing amount was unspecified. Her plea deal, however, indicated the figure to …

Iowa Dairy Workers President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On May 8, Curtis Lang, former president of United Dairy Workers of Le Mars, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Iowa, to one count of embezzling funds from the Le Mars (near Sioux City) union in the amount of $45,040. Lang had been indicted in March following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Police Union President in Rhode Island Pleads Guilty

Christopher Hayes had a variety of ways to enrich himself illegally. But they all led to a conviction. On May 1, Hayes, former president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island to wire fraud in connection with his theft of $71,523 in funds from the Newport union. The former Newport police sergeant had been charged in March following a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department and the Rhode Island State Police. Prosecutors had alleged that Hayes during August 2009-December 2014 had diverted funds to his own use with his union debit card and checking account, and with cash withdrawals and online credit card payments. Sentencing is set for July 21.…

Illinois BLET Secretary-Treasurer Charged with Embezzlement

On May 2, Thomas Miller, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 815, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with embezzling $10,686 in funds from the Joliet-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Puerto Rico Declares Bankruptcy; Sticks U.S. Mainland with the Bill

It is now official: Puerto Rico is broke. Last Wednesday, on May 3, the island territorial government, unable to meet its commitments on more than $70 billion in bonds and nearly $50 billion in employee pensions, declared bankruptcy. As far as municipal bond defaults go, it is the largest in U.S. history. Mismanagement and corruption have had more than a little to do with this meltdown. Congress paved the way for receivership last June when it passed legislation granting Puerto Rico protection from certain bond creditors. As the island slides toward oblivion and its residents leave in droves, the emergency control board created by the law has begun to oversee budget restructuring. The long-run challenge ought to be weaning the island from its federal fiscal lifeline and ultimately from the United States itself.

National Legal and Policy Center has covered this unfolding fiscal disaster three times, most recently last

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