Local UAW Financial Secretary in Detroit Charged with Theft

auto_industry_reduced_5On April 28, Udean Forbes-Payton, former financial secretary of United Auto Workers Local 2500, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with embezzling $5,562 in funds from the Detroit-based union during December 2006-May 2011 and then concealing the thefts in union records. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Graphic Communications/Teamster Officials in Orange County Plead Guilty

teamsters-logoRyan Sherard and Fred Correll might consider themselves lucky that they weren’t prosecuted for stealing a lot more. On April 23, Sherard, former president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Graphic Communications Conference, District Council 2, pleaded guilty in Santa Ana, Calif. federal court to one count of concealing $9,635 in income in the financial records of the Fullerton-based union. Six days earlier, on April 17, Correll, former council secretary-treasurer, had pleaded guilty to embezzling $10,000 from the union in 2009. Back in February, each had waived his right to a grand jury, and agreed to plea guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for August 4.

District Council 2 represents roughly 9,000 printing and paper trade workers in Southern California. Fred Correll, 79, had been secretary-treasurer of Graphic Communications Conference District 2 since 1972. Ryan Sherard, 43, who is Correll’s son-in-law, had served as president since 2001. It turned out to … Read More ➡

Former Treasurer of Pennsylvania CWA Local Pleads Guilty

cwa-logoOn April 24, Robert Vargeson, former treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 88329, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to an information count for falsifying financial records of the Galeton (Potter County), Pa.-based union. The concealment had covered up a loss of $6,373 to the union. Vargeson had been charged 10 days earlier following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

ILWU Secretary-Treasurer in Portland, Ore. Sentenced for Embezzlement

ILWU logoOn April 22, Britta Duncan, former secretary-treasurer for Local 5 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon to eight months of home detention and five years of probation for embezzling funds from the Portland-based union and falsifying union financial reports to cover up the thefts. She also was ordered to pay $43,183 in restitution and a $500 fine, and receive counseling. Duncan, formerly an employee of the Portland flagship store of Powell’s Books, pleaded guilty last October to three counts of embezzlement and two counts of records fraud. She had been charged in March 2013 following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Silicon Valley Capitulates to Jesse Jackson Shakedown

Jesse Jackson

It would seem that the heyday of Jesse Jackson Sr., racial shakedown artist extraordinaire, is long over.  Regrettably, some of the largest companies in California’s Silicon Valley are resuscitating his career. Jackson once again is flying high, issuing ultimatums for “diversity” and giving companies a choice: 1) orient hiring, marketing and other activities to favor nonwhites; or 2) get ready for a boycott, picketing, a lawsuit or other bad publicity. This May he gave information technology industry titans the full Jesse treatment – and on their own turf. At shareholder meetings of eBay, Google and Facebook, Jackson issued aggressive calls to hire blacks and other “people of color,” especially for top positions. Two months earlier he had brought his shakedown campaign to Hewlett-Packard. The response from each company was either silence or capitulation.

Jesse Jackson, popularly known as Rev. Jesse Jackson, now 72, more than anyone this side of Al … Read More ➡

Labor Department Sues Los Angeles-Area Cement Masons Local for Blocking Probe

Cement Masons logo Workers represented by Cement Masons Local 600 have helped put up a good many buildings in Southern California. But right now its members have a more immediate project on their hands: making sure they receive all promised benefits. And the U.S. Department of Labor wants to make that happen. Last Wednesday, the DOL filed a civil suit against various officers of the local trust funds to seek the reinstatement of a recently-fired union auditor and remove certain board members who administer the funds. Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis Borzi explained the motive behind the action: “Workers must be free to participate in Department of Labor inquiries without fear of retaliation. By law, they have a right to report suspected violations to the department and must be allowed to cooperate with investigators.”

Local 600 of the Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association, based in Bell Gardens, Calif., is a major force … Read More ➡

Contractors, Steward Sentenced for Defrauding NYC Teamsters at World Trade Center Site

When the Port Authority Terminal at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan reopened this past February 25, at least a few of the people involved in this challenging and emotionally-charged project couldn’t be on hand. They included brothers Gerardo and Vincent Fusella, owner-operators of a New Jersey-based trucking company, and Willie Spikes, a steward for International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 282. Over the last year or more, the three pleaded guilty in Brooklyn, N.Y. federal court for their roles in diverting more than $1 million in union member wages and benefits to themselves. Each subsequently was sentenced. The Fusellas had been named in a 31-count criminal indictment in December 2011 following a lengthy multi-agency investigation.

Union Corruption Update described this case back in February 2012 following the indictments. Gerardo (“Jerry”) and Vincent Fusella, at the time, ages 36 and 30, ran a trucking firm, the Fusella Group LLC, based … Read More ➡

Senate Committee Approves Fannie/Freddie Phaseout, But Bill Keeps Government Role

sen-johnson-and-crapoEveryone in Washington favors “reform.” Unfortunately, the term can be highly deceptive. Such is the case of the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014 (S.1217), a bill that would abolish troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in favor of a federally-backed private insurance system. Last Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee approved the measure by a 13-9 vote. Yet the bill, sponsored by Sens. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho (in photo), may never reach the Senate floor – and not undeservedly. For the real problem with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which now are profitable and have more than repaid their federal bailout debt, is not their existence; it is their subjection to tight federal control. The “new” system would retain and even expand this control, while not restoring the rights of shareholders left high and dry.

National Legal and Policy Center several times … Read More ➡

Pittsburgh Sheet Metal Workers Office Manager Indicted for Theft

Sheet Metal Workers logoOn April 23, Jennifer Gent, former office manager for the Journeyman Apprentice Training Fund (JATF) of the Pittsburgh-based Sheet Metal Workers Local 12, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on one count of embezzlement of $30,297 in JATF funds. The Sheet Metal Workers and the United Transportation Union merged in 2011 to form a new union, SMART. The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

IBEW Secretary-Treasurer in Ohio Sentenced for $150K+ Embezzlement

IBEW logoRonald Karr, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2359, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $4,000 fine for embezzling $158,150 from the Sugar Grove, Ohio union. He previously had made full restitution. Karr had been charged last November and pleaded guilty in December. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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