For Gary A. Barner, a 16-month sentence in federal prison for theft is anticlimactic. Maybe that's because he's already doing time in state prison for something a lot more serious. Barner, formerly treasurer for Local 518 of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE), was sentenced in federal court on January 14 to one year and four months in prison for embezzling nearly $30,000 from the Rome, Ga.-based union. He pleaded guilty in October. PACE is now part of the United Steelworkers of America, the two having merged in 2005.
On October 23, Stephen Priest, former financial secretary for United Auto Workers Local 1516, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on 12 counts of embezzling funds from his union in the amount of $97,899.19.Federal prosecutors charge that during September 2005-May 2006 Priest wrote himself 57 unauthorized checks, forging the signature of the union president.He also allegedly wrote checks to pay personal bills.The local represents workers at the Johnson Controls battery manufacturing plant in Middletown, Del.The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.(Associated Press, 10/31/07; OLMS, 11/10/07).
Financial Secretary in Michigan Sentenced for False Statements
The word of Bill Dugan proved more believable than that of his accusers – at least to most members of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150.Dugan on August 25 was re-elected to his eighth term as president and business manager of the suburban Chicago local in the face of allegations from about 125 members that he’d been accepting monthly kickbacks of $100 each.Receiving 61 percent of the vote, Dugan denied wrongdoing, insisting that a lawsuit filed earlier this year by dissenters against him was politically motivated.Still, the lawsuit remains in force, which suggests that the dissenters, led by challenger Joe Ward, might have a point or two.The 22,000-member Local 150, based in Countryside, Ill., represents operators of cranes, backhoes, bulldozers and other equipment in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. (Chicago Tribune, 8/28/07).
Former Secretary-Treasurer in Nebraska Pleads Guilty
On June 11 and 12, Lawrence Marable and Deborah Powell, respectively, the former president and treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1793, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to one count of conspiracy, five counts of property theft, and one count of making a false statement.Marable and Powell had conspired to convert $184,129.85 in dues and union checks for their personal use.The local represents employees at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia.The guilty pleas follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.(OLMS, 7/5/07).
Michigan Local Treasurer Secretary Sentenced for Theft
On May 3, Walter Fisher, former treasurer for Local 1949 of the United Transportation Union, pleaded guilty in federal court for the District of Maryland to one count of embezzling funds from the Ellicott City-based union in an amount greater than $30,000 but less than $70,000.The guilty plea follows an investigation by the Labor Department.(OLMS, 5/30/07).
Former Secretary-Treasurer of Pittsburgh-Area Local Sentenced
John T. Daley for four years embezzled nearly $1.2 million from the New York State Nurses Association, the 34,000-member union of which he had been chief financial officer.Now he’s going to pay a price.On March 30, Daley received a prison sentence in Albany County Court of three-and-a-third years to 10 years.He also will have to make restitution.Daley pleaded guilty in January to second-degree grand larceny, after initially claiming innocence due to impaired judgment from overuse of prescription drugs.The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the police department of the Town of Colonie, located north of Albany.(OLMS, 4/23/07).
Business Manager of Texas Local Indicted for Embezzlement
On March 14, Judith Ann Banks Sims, former operator of Professional Employee Leasing, Inc. (PEL), a Dadeville, Alabama-based employee leasing company, was sentenced to 12 months home confinement, two years probation and a special assessment of $100.PEL was associated with Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers Local 03-543.In February, Sims pled guilty to one count of making false statements and concealing facts relating to documents she had submitted to the Labor Department under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Mary Love and Danna France knew the value of teamwork – at least when it came to embezzling from their union.Their combined take came to around $70,000.Love, 51, a resident of northwest suburban St. Louis, during October 1998-December 2005 served as president of Local 96 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents workers at the Jefferson Barracks and John Cochran VA hospitals.During that time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged, she diverted more than $43,000 in union checks toward personal use.On November 15, a federal jury convicted Love of theft and filing false records. For her part, France, 42, who pleaded guilty in October, stole more than $26,000.France is due for sentencing in January; Love is due in February.(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/17/06).
Chicago-Area Business Manager Sentenced for Stealing
Underlying of lot of union embezzlement these days are hard-luck gambling stories.It’s a depressing scenario:A union officer or employee loses his shirt at a casino(s), and tries to cover the losses by writing phony checks, diverting union funds into a secret account, or pulling off some other scheme.Add Michael Iasevoli, an official with a Connecticut local of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union, to the list.Iasevoli, 40, a resident of Waterbury and acting financial secretary for PACE Local 745, was sentenced on September 19 in U.S. District Court in New Haven to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.He had pleaded guilty in June to one count of embezzling assets from the Wallingford, Conn.-based union.
On August 10, Lorraine Payton, former president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Veterans Administration Council, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on two counts of making false reports.Payton was accused of underreporting union income.According to the indictment, she reported getting $11,515 from the council in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000, plus another $6,000 in calendar year 2001.Her actual incomes for the two periods, respectively, were $18,123 and $55,821, with secret payments going for checks, debit card and credit card transactions.The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.(OLMS, 8/18/06; other sources).