Michigan IBEW Secretary Pleads Guilty to $300K+ Embezzlement

Stephanie DeBoer had financial needs. Apparently, she forgot that dues-paying union members did as well. On November 2, DeBoer, former office manager and bookkeeper for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to embezzling about $307,000 in funds from the Edmore (Montcalm County), Mich.-based union, which represents utility workers throughout Michigan. She had been indicted in May following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to prosecutors, DeBoer over a three-year period wrote unauthorized union checks to herself and deposited the funds in personal bank accounts. She used the money to pay for rent, phone bills and credit card bills from purchases at retailers such as Best Buy, Sam’s Club and Kay Jewelers. A suspicious Labor Department eventually conducted a probe, concluding she was the culprit. According to the plea agreement, DeBoer will have … Read More ➡

Virginia Boilermakers Local Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty

Tamika Bullock stole money meant for people out of work. It is now highly unlikely that she will find work again in that organization. On November 14, Bullock, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 684, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to embezzling $24,600 from the Chesapeake-based union, with most of that sum taken from its “sick and distressed” account. She had pleaded guilty in June. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to court documents, Bullock, now 39, a resident of Portsmouth, Va., began her position as Local 684 secretary-treasurer in September 2015. It didn’t take long to put her hands in the cookie jar. During January-October 2016, she stole $24,600 from the union. More than $21,400 of that came from an account, funded by voluntary contributions, set up to assist members temporarily out … Read More ➡

AFGE President in Phoenix Sentenced for Wire Fraud

On November 7, Patrick Remigio, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2589, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to 18 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for committing wire fraud in the amount of $95,000 against the Phoenix-area union. He also will have to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Remigio had pleaded guilty in October 2016 after being indicted that January on eight counts of fraud and two counts of false record-keeping. The local represents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

President of North Carolina Steelworkers Local Charged with Theft

On November 7, Gordon Cairns, former president of United Steelworkers Local 1089, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina with one count of embezzling $63,999 in funds from the Harrisburg (Charlotte area), N.C.-based union. He also was accused of one count each of failing to maintain union records, making false statements and destroying records. Cairns was charged in South Carolina, his state of residence and the location of the alleged offenses. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

New Jersey Longshoreman Convicted in Ghost Worker Scheme

Paul Moe probably wishes he showed up for work more often. On October 31, Moe, a member of the International Longshoremen’s Association and a foreman for a shipping company at Port of Elizabeth, N.J., was convicted by a Newark federal jury on all 14 counts of wire conspiracy related to a scam in which he collected nearly $500,000 as a full-time salaried employee for what amounted to part-time work for as few as eight hours a week. The jury had deliberated for two hours following a 10-day trial. Moe had been indicted in July. The actions follow a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration, along with the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.

According to prosecutors, Moe, 66, a resident of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., during September 2015-March 2017 was employed at Port of Elizabeth to … Read More ➡

Machinists Local Treasurer in Pennsylvania Sentenced for Theft

On October 31, Stephen Royer, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 243, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to a year and a day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling $130,870 from the East Prospect (York County), Pa.-based union. He had pleaded guilty in June after being indicted in March. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Indiana Letter Carriers Local Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

On October 30, Fenna Saylors, former treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 378, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to two years of probation and ordered to pay $6,050 in residual restitution and $100 special assessment for embezzling funds from the Marion, Ind.-based union. She had pleaded guilty in March to embezzling $16,647. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

SEIU Officials Accused of Sexual Abuse; Forced Out

The allegations of sexual harassment may or may not be true. But there’s no disputing that the top ranks of the Service Employees International Union are getting thinner. Over the last few weeks, the SEIU announced the resignation, suspension or termination of four alleged labor lotharios: Executive Vice President Scott Courtney; principal organizer Kendall Fells; Chicago organizer Caleb Jennings; and Detroit organizer Mark Raleigh. More such moves may lie ahead. “These personnel actions are the culmination of this stage of the investigation which brought to light the serious problems related to abusive behavior towards staff, predominantly female staff,” stated union spokesperson Sahar Wali in an email. In the context of similar accusations in the worlds of politics, publishing and film, the story has added significance.

Females are a large and growing portion of organized labor in this country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they now account for more Read More ➡

Security Employees Local Treasurer in Ohio Charged

On October 24, Elizabeth Merrill, former treasurer of United Government Security Officers of America Local 251, was indicted in Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas with forgery and theft in the disappearance of $1,051 in funds from the Cincinnati-based union. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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