At United Industrial and Service Workers of America, stealing apparently was a family affair – a Romero family affair. On January 21, husband and wife John S. and Evelyn Romero, and their two adult children, John J. and Danae Romero – each a former union official – were indicted by a federal grand jury on 40 counts related mainly to their looting of about $900,000 from the Colton (San Bernardino County), Calif. union. A week later, on January 28, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California unsealed the indictment following the arrest of the four defendants earlier that day. 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.
United Industrial and Service Workers of America (UISWA), also known as UISWA Local 101, is an independent union representing workers across a wide range … Read More ➡
On January 7, Jonathan Smith, former financial secretary of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 2247, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska to four months in halfway house for embezzling $41,770 from the Juneau union. He also was ordered to serve five years of probation and perform 250 hours of community service, and pay full restitution. Smith had pleaded guilty in August after being indicted in April. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to court records, Smith, who began serving as financial secretary in 2006 and who also worked as business agent for the Alaska Regional Council of Carpenters, during April 2007-May 2012 used his union debit card to pay for personal expenses such as travel, food, drink and gambling. The pattern of theft ended when the union conducted an internal audit and then requested … Read More ➡
Ann Marie Shaffer embezzled checks under the guise of processing them. She’s now about to pay the price. On January 16, Shaffer, former dues clerk for International Brotherhood Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 58, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to a year in prison for embezzling $101,059.56 in funds from the Detroit-based union. She also was ordered to serve two years of supervised release and pay $340,267.73 in restitution. Shaffer had pleaded guilty last August following a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Federal prosecutors had charged that Shaffer, now 57, a resident of Livonia, Mich., engaged in theft via a check substitution scheme. After receiving dues remittance checks from employers, she would set them aside without recording them. Then, when handling an equal amount of cash, she would replace the money with the … Read More ➡
On January 7, Amanda Kay Nault, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 249, pleaded guilty in Lenawee County (Mich.) Circuit Court to embezzling $3,454 in funds from the Adrian-based union. Nault, 31, a resident of nearby Lambertville, Mich., had made union checks out to herself and then forged the signatures of other union officers. She had been charged last September, several months after her resignation. Local 249 represents ProMedica laboratory workers in Lenawee County.… Read More ➡
On January 12, Pamela Nessen, former president of American Postal Workers Union Local 286, turned herself into police in the wake of her indictment in November by a federal grand jury that she had embezzled $58,598 from the Fort Wayne, Ind. union. Nessen, now 58, headed the APWU local during November 2009-November 2013, and had been living in Jensen Beach, Fla. when the indictment came down. She pleaded not guilty the next day. The actions follow a U.S. Labor Department investigation.… Read More ➡
This past January 14, the Justice Department and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached an agreement to end a quarter-century of federal oversight. Prosecutors believe a new era is overdue. "While threats persist, the organized crime influence the government found to have reached the highest echelons of IBT leadership in 1988 has long been expunged," announced Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The deal, set for a hearing on February 11 before District Chief Judge Loretta Preska, phases in an autonomy plan over five years and institutes safeguards against corruption. Yet the sincerity of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa's commitment to reform is open to question. The union, a favor factory for Hoffa and his allies, may become even more of one when full autonomy does arrive.
The settlement, spelled out in the U.S. Attorney's Office statement, calls for the union to appoint independent officers … Read More ➡
On January 5, Dale Hull, formerly secretary-treasurer for Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 261, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $17,000 in restitution, for embezzling funds from the Herington, Kan.-based union, a Teamsters affiliate. He had pleaded guilty in September after being charged in July. Hull admitted that starting in 2008 he made unauthorized account transfers from the union account to a personal checking account and then concealed the thefts on financial reporting forms. The union represents Union Pacific Railroad employees in Herington and Salina. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On December 11, Edward Feld, former president of Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 374, was charged in the 10th District Court of Calhoun County, Michigan, with one count of felony embezzlement from the Battle Creek union in an amount of at least $1,000 but less than $20,000. RWDSU is an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On December 17, Choi Hawks, former secretary-treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 6066, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of embezzling $10,744 from the Chesapeake, Va.-based union after being charged on November 14. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Sharon Ratcliff had a lot of expenses to cover. Unfortunately, she used her union as a personal bank. On November 14, Ratcliff, formerly secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 6150, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas with embezzling more than $75,000 in funds from the Dallas-based union. Six days later, on November 20, she filed a factual resume with the court, effectively pleading guilty. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Under the rules of CWA Local 6150, which represents about 150 area AT&T employees, only three union officials have access to its checkbook and two of them must give signed approval for any payments. Starting in August 2008, Sharon Ratcliff, allegedly in need of money, withdrew it without authorization by rubber-stamping the president’s signature without permission. She used the money to pay household bills and medication, although … Read More ➡