Amid little fanfare, one of New York's most powerful labor racketeers was packed off to an upstate federal prison earlier in Jan. to begin a six-and-a-half-year sentence for bribery and conspiracy, reports Tom Robbins of the Village Voice. Louis Moscatiello pled guilty to six counts of bribery and racketeering, including his participation in the Genovese crime family.
The FBI is investigating whether hundreds of thousands of dollars were siphoned from a Teamsters benefit plan that provides dental care to Chicago-area undertakers and valets, report Todd Lightly and Stephen Franklin of the Chicago Tribune.The criminal investigation is the first indication that law enforcement authorities are acting on an internal Teamsters union report alleging that money may have been diverted from Local 727's dental plan from 1993 to early 2000.The 303-page report was prepared by investigators under the supervision of former internal ethics watchdog Edwin Stier, who resigned last April charging that Teamsters officials in Washington, DC, were stifling his investigation.
On April 9, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Timothy Aldridge, former president of Florence Steelworkers Local 1, pled guilty to one count of embezzling $112,525 in union funds. Aldridge had been indicted on April 9, 2003, following an investigation by the Cincinnati District Office of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 5/6/04]
Twenty-two members and associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family were charged with racketeering, extortion, fraud, tax evasion, and other offenses arising from the Genoveses' alleged control over the drywall industry in the New York City area on April 20.According to the 83-count Indictment, Louis Moscatiello, Sr., created Local 530 of the Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons union in 1978, specifically to enhance the Genovese Family's control over the drywall industry and encroach upon the jurisdiction of another union operating in the drywall industry, Local 1974.Moscatiello was the first President and Business Manager of Local 530. During his tenure as President, the Indictment alleges that Moscatiello regularly accepted unlawful payments from contractors in exchange for labor peace.
On December 9, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Eastern Dist. of La., James Robinson, frmr. president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1101, pled guilty to a one count information charging him with failing to maintain union records. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the New Orleans District Office of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 12/18/03]
Ex-Bookkeeper Sentenced for Embezzlement in NJ Federal Court
The former finance director for the Massachusetts Teachers' Association (MTA) has pleaded guilty to charges he stole $802,000 from the union over a six-year period, Attorney General Tom Reilly announced on Dec. 19.Richard Anzivino, 49, of Needham, pleaded guilty in Suffolk County Superior Court to five counts of larceny over $250 and six counts of making a false entry in a corporate book. Judge Carol Ball sentenced Anzivino to two years in the House of Correction with one year to serve and the balance suspended for five years with probation. The sentence was stayed until January 2.
In 1998,GM officials knew that two men whom Pontiac union officials demanded be hired as skilled workers at their main factory "were not qualified."Nonetheless, GM hired the two relatives of United Auto Wrkrs. Local 594 officials to end a strike.And all mention of the two hires in the contract was covered up before it was submitted to the local membership for ratification.These and other documents were released by attny. Harold Dunne on Dec. 11 to back up his charge that GM and Local 594 officials engaged in nepotism to ensure labor peace in GM's Pontiac factories in the 1990s.
Debra Lewis has begun serving a 3-yr. prison term for embezzling $521,000 from the Mich. Nurses Assn.At her October sentencing in the U.S. Dist. Ct. in Kalamazoo, Lewis was also ordered to repay the funds she stole during her 18 yrs. with the union.While recovering most of its losses through insurance, the union has still sued Lewis and her husband, Lloyd, in the Ingham County Circ. Ct., claiming that the two spent the funds on home improvements and other items.The union is seeking monetary damages.
Officials of the Wash. Educ. Assn. (WEA) have conspired with Bellevue School Dist. officials to prevent Seattle Times reporters from seeing files on teachers and coaches accused of sexual misconduct.Union officials even hosted "building file" parties, in which teachers could remove discipline records from their personnel files.The Times had not expected this fight when they asked the state's 10 largest school districts for public information on sexual misconduct complaints against teachers and coaches last Dec.The state Sup. Ct. had ruled in 1990 that opening such records did not violate the teachers' privacy.
Among those leading the movement for greater corporate financial transparency among publicly trade firms is the AFL-CIO.
With huge pension funds under its umbrella, the labor federation has a vested interest that happens, despite excesses at the edges of its policy proposals, to coincide with the public interest in a nation of investors. It is curious, then, that the AFL-CIO has now gone to court in an attempt to forestall the same financial transparency regarding its stewardship of member dues that the labor federation demands for public corporations.