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 … Read More ➡

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.… Read More ➡

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.… Read More ➡

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 … Read More ➡

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.… Read More ➡

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.… Read More ➡

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.… Read More ➡

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 Read More ➡

Washington State SMART President Pleads Guilty

On April 7, Pascale McAtee, former president of International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 161, Transportation Division, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to one count of embezzling more than $82,000 in funds from the Everett (Snohomish County), Wash.-based union. He had been indicted last December. Sentencing is scheduled for July. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Plumbers Office Manager in Arkansas Charged with Theft

On April 10, Jeni May Hughes, former office manager for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 155, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas in a one-count information with embezzling funds from the Little Rock union in an unspecified sum. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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