On December 12, 2002, in the U.S. Dist. Court for South Dakota, Jo Ann Vaughn, frmr. treasurer of the Intl. Alliance Theatrical, Stage & Picture Operators Local 220, pled guilty to one count of embezzling approximately $33,000 (not exceeding $29,000 in union funds). Vaughn had pled not guilty on October 22 to one count of embezzlement and one count of fraud for causing a false report to be made. She will be sentenced on March 10, 2003. The charges were brought following an investigation by the Minneapolis Resident Investigator branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [USAO, SD 12/12/02: DOL OLMS 12/19/02]
U.S. Dist. Judge Lawrence E, Kahn (N.D. NY, Clinton) sentenced Nancy Barber on Oct. 16 to five months in prison for embezzling $57,769 from an Albany local union. Judge Kahn could have sentenced the mother of three children under the age of 13 to 16 months in prison. He also ordered five months of home detention, three years of probation, and full restitution by Barber. She pled guilty on June 24 to stealing from Local 12 of the Intl. Assn. of Iron Workers (IAIW) between 1993 and ‘99 by pocketing dues payments in cash. [Times-Union, Albany, NY 10/17/02]
On Mar. 28, 2001, U.S. Dist. Judge Joyce H. Green (D.D.C., Carter) granted the Dep't of Labor's motion for summary judgment and declared the Amalgamated Transit Union's 1998 election of int'l officers void. DOL's suit charged that the ATU, headquartered in Washington, D.C., imposed an unreasonable candidacy qualification when it applied a meeting attendance requirement for the nomination and election of delegates to its 1998 int'l union convention. DOL's Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards Washington District Office conducted the investigation leading to the complaint and will supervise the remedial election ordered by the court. [DOL 3/28/01]
Alan B. Bond, a union pension manger who is scheduled to stand trial in Nov. on charges he took illegal kickbacks from brokerage firms, was arrested Aug. 9, on separate fraud charges, federal prosecutors said. In a 32-page complaint filed in U.S. Dist. Court in Manhattan, Bond was charged with conducting an illegal "cherry picking" scheme that directed virtually all of his profitable stock trades to his own accounts and most of his unprofitable ones to accounts he managed for three clients, including the Birmingham Amalgamated Transit Auth. Local 725 pension fund. Separately, Sec. & Exch. Comm'n attorneys were in court Aug. 9 seeking to freeze all of Bond's assets.
Federal prosecutors Dec. 16 charged Alan B. Bond, president of Albriond Cap. Mangmnt., a N.Y-based advisory firm whose largest client was the $2.3 billion pension fund of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 in Washington, D.C., with taking $6.9 million in kickbacks from brokerage firms to help pay for lavish gifts to ex-Local 689 boss James Thomas.
A fed. grand jury rendered an 11-count indictment against Bond, accusing him of conspiracy, fraud, bribery and making false statements. SEC also filed suit alleging Bond used some of the kickback money to purchase gratuities for pension fund trustees. Specifically, Bond allegedly provided Thomas, who also was a trustee of the fund, with tickets to Dallas Cowboy football games and Broadway shows, paid for his rooms at the prestigious St. Regis Hotel in N.Y., bought him expensive clothes and dinners, and supplied him with limousines and plane tickets. Thomas allegedly received gratuities worth at least $15,000. Thomas wasn't named in the suits. SEC attorney Clifford C. Hyatt said the investigation is continuing.
On Jul. 20, the U.S. District Court in Seattle sentenced Robert Kellas, former-president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 843 in Bellingham, WA, to a year and a day in prison and ordered him to pay $78,248 in restitution on top of $70,000 already paid. He will also serve 3 years of supervised release after facing a maximum of 5 years in prison. On Apr. 23, Kellas pled guilty to embezzling between $70,000 and $120,000 from Local 843 and the ATU Legislative Council of Washington State. He was president of Local 843 from 1990-97 and secretary-treasurer of the Legislative Council from 1994-97. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Kellas' scheme was simply writing checks to himself from the 2 unions. [Seattle Times 04/24/98 & 07/21/98]
Union Corruption Studies Available The Public Service Research Council just published 2 timely studies: "Fraud Prevalent in Prevailing Wage Surveys" & "The Case Against Public Sector Unionism & Collective Bargaining." To get a copy call 703-242-3575.
"It is good that a prolonged bus strike has been averted in Worcester. But the question is: at what price? [The] one-day strike, staged by the local chapter of the Amalgamated Transit Union, AFL-CIO, was described as an "illegal" job action by Robert E. Ojala, administrator of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority. That may have been an understatement. The specter of labor action by this union has been lingering for some time. It threatened to picket the Worcester Centrum Centre during the Democratic State Convention, but a last-minute compromise negotiated by the city manager and the mayor saved the city from embarrassment.