Decades ago, the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund was a project of organized crime. In the future, it may well be a project of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal agency that insures pension plans against insolvency. Ironically, this could put PBGC itself at risk. This September, the troubled fund, which enrolls over 400,000 active and retired union members in 37 states, filed a restructuring plan with the Treasury Department proposing benefit cuts of nearly 23 percent. The action is the first under a new law. Central States Executive Director-General Counsel Thomas Nyhan explains: “The longer we wait to act, the larger the benefit reductions will have to be.” Yet the union, with help from Congress, helped bring about this dilemma.
The Rosemont, Ill.-based Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund, or as it is simply known, the Central States Pension Fund, is the largest of the Teamsters-sponsored pension … Read More ➡
On September 14, Sergio Rascon Jr., former bookkeeper assistant for Laborers International Union of North America Local 300, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment for embezzling $2,417 from the Los Angeles union. Rascon had pleaded guilty in June. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡
On September 9, John Jones, former financial secretary of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 59, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington to two months in federal prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling more than $12,000 in funds from the Spokane-based union. He also was ordered to pay $10,762 in remaining restitution and a $100 special assessment. Jones had pleaded guilty in June. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On September 9, Paul Florez, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3922, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to 180 days of home confinement and five years of probation for stealing from the El Paso-based union, which represents employees at the local VA Hospital. He also was ordered to pay $44,878 in restitution and a $5,000 fine. Florez had pleaded guilty in June after being charged last December with theft in the amount of $59,709. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On September 3, Jeremy Bolte, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Lodge 800, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to five years of probation for embezzling $12,500 from the Kansas City, Mo.-based union, which represents area workers for BNSF Railway. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a special assessment of $1,000. Bolte had pleaded guilty in October 2014 to 10 counts of embezzlement upon being charged. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
If there is an issue that has united popular indignation, Left and Right alike, executive compensation surely ranks near or at the top. But the bipartisan opposition to recent pay increases for the CEOs of mortgage conduits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while highly understandable, misses the larger point. Several months ago, these companies, which account for nearly half the outstanding home mortgage debt in the U.S. and which since 2008 have been wards of the government, announced plans to raise annual CEO pay from $600,000 to $4 million. Their overseer, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, approved the hikes. In response, Congress overwhelmingly has passed (or is on the verge of passing) bills to roll them back. Lawmakers would do better to allow the firms to operate freely and without subsidies.
National Legal and Policy Center has visited the travails of these two companies many times over the last … Read More ➡
On September 1, Betty Robinson, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2751, was indicted in the Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore, Maryland on one count of theft of at least $10,000 but less than $100,000 from the Baltimore union. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On September 2, Steven Minella, former president and business agent of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of failing to report to appropriate authorities the commission of extortion by another official of the Bloomfield Hills, Mich. local. Minella had been charged in June following a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.… Read More ➡
On September 2, Danny Rawls, former member of United Auto Workers Local 2297, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to one charge of making a false statement to a Labor Department investigator. Back in March, Rawls, along with Local 2297 Vice President Gregory Hill, had been indicted on nine counts related to aiding and abetting embezzlement in excess of $12,000, uttering forged checks, and conspiracy to commit forgery against the Shreveport-based union. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
The alleged amounts may be modest, but they amount to a twofer all the same. On August 31, Dean Johnson, former president of the Minneapolis-based American Federation of Government Employees Local 899, was charged in Hennepin County Court of Minnesota with theft in the sum of $2,036. That same day Edward Barker, former Local 899 vice president, was charged in the same court with theft in the sum of $1,790. The alleged thefts by Johnson occurred during January 2013-August 2013, while those by Barker occurred during March 2013-July 2013. The charges follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Minneapolis Airport Police.… Read More ➡