A N.Y. pension fund consultant received a lighter-than-requested sentence for paying kickbacks to a union pension trustee without performing any services for the two funds involved.
The U.S. Attny. for the Dist. of Mass. had requested a sentence of one year, six months for George W. Philipps, ex-president and owner of Pension Fund Evaluations, Inc. (PFE) in Centerreach, NY. But U.S. Dist. Judge Nancy Gertner (D. Mass., Clinton) sentenced Philipps to two years probation on Oct. 10 for his role in a scheme carried out with William V. Close, then a trustee of the pension funds of Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters Local 710 and Intl. Assn. of Machinists Local 701, both based in Chicago.
Seven years after the Intl. Ladies Garment Wrkrs. Union was merged into the Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees, federal courts are still dealing with the leftover corruption. On July 23, a frmr bookkeeper for the garment union pled guilty in the U.S. Dist. Ct. in Scranton to embezzling more than $28,000 from the union's now-defunct district council.
Diane Lewis used her position to steal funds from the N.E. Penn. Dist. Cncl. of the Ladies Garment Union from July 1995 to August 1997. During that time, that union and the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) were merging to form UNITE. Lewis faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. [U.S.A.O. M.D. Pa, 7/23/02]
John McKay, United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, and John Heaney, District Director, United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards in Seattle, announced that on July 12, 2000, David Rux, a former Business Representative of Woodworkers Local Lodge W2 in Aberdeen, Washington, pled guilty to 7 felony counts of Union Embezzlement under U.S.C. 29, 501(c), and 15 counts of Falsification of Union Financial Records under U.S.C., 439(c). Now living in Veguita, NM, Rux will be sentenced on October 15, by U.S. Dist. Judge William Johnson (G.W. Bush) in Albuquerque. For each of the 7 counts of embezzlement, Rux faces a maximum of 5 years in prison, $10,000 in fines, and 3 years of supervised release following imprisonment. He also faces a maximum penalty of 1 year in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and 1 year of supervised release for each of count of Falsification.
William V. Close, ex-trustee of the pension funds of Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 710 and Auto. and Int'l Ass'n of Machinists Local 701 (a.k.a. Auto. Mechanics Union Local 701), both of which are in Chicago, was sentenced May 30 along with pension fund managers Christopher P. Roach and Richard S. Tringale on federal racketeering conspiracy and pension fund kickback charges arising out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in commission kickbacks.
Deborah Bankston, ex-financial secretary-treasurer of Ass'n of Western Pulp & Paper Workers Local 83 in Stockton, Cal., was sentenced Feb. 20 to five months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised probation for embezzling $64,711.65 in union funds. She was also ordered to make full restitution. Bankston pled guilty to one count of union embezzlement. She was charged on Sept. 26. [DOL 2/20/02]
Washington Staffer Charged with $15,600 Embezzlement Geri E. Abbe, ex-office secretary for Ass'n of Western Pulp & Paper Workers Local 5 in Camas, Wash., was charged Feb. 22 in a one-count information with embezzling $15,690 in union funds. [DOL 2/22/02]
A N.Y. union pension fund consultant admitted Feb 6. that he paid kickbacks to a fund trustee. George W. Philipps, ex-president and owner of Pension Fund Evaluations, Inc., a consulting firm in Centerreach, N.Y., pled guilty before U.S. Dist, Judge Nancy Gertner (D. Mass., Clinton) in Boston to a charge of paying kickbacks to William V. Close, who was then a trustee of the pension funds of Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 710 and Auto. and Int'l Ass'n of Machinists Local 701 (a.k.a., Auto. Mechanics Union Local 701), both of which are in Chicago.
On Dec. 17, in Wayne County (Ind.) Superior Court, Priscilla Crist, ex-president of Auto Workers Local 2374 in Richmond, Ind., was indicted for forgery and theft of $4,092 in union funds. [DOL 12/17/02]
Georgia Boss Charged with False Recordkeeping Joseph Argo, ex-president of Int'l Ass'n of Machinists Lodge 615 in Marietta, Ga., was charged in a one-count information with false financial recordkeeping. [DOL 1/15/02]
Atlanta Boss Charged for Failing to Maintain Financial Records On Jan. 15, Charles Astin, ex-president of Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union Local 343 in Atlanta, was charged in a one-count information with failure to maintain union financial records. [DOL 1/15/02]
Florida Boss Allegedly Concealed Records On Dec. 17, in U.S. Dist. Court for the S. Dist. of Fla., David Lareau, ex-business manager of Int'l Bhd. of Painters & Allied Trades Local 160, was charged in a one-count information with concealing and withholding union financial records.
The Dep't of Labor filed suit Jan. 18 in U.S. Dist. Court for the N. Dist. of Texas against the Am. Postal Workers Union Local 732 of Dallas. The suit resulted from an DOL probe of the local's May 19, 2001 mail ballot officer and delegate election. DOL found that the local denied eligible members the right to vote, in that the local failed to mail ballots to all eligible members, and failed to count all ballots that had been returned by eligible members to the post office prior to the deadline. DOL also found that the local improperly permitted ineligible members to vote in violation of the union constitution and bylaws. The suit seeks new election for 11 officer and 39 delegate positions under DOL supervision. [DOL 1/18/02]
Federal prosecutors in Boston and Chicago announced today that George Philipps, president of a N.Y. investment consulting firm, Pension Fund Evaluations, Inc., was charged Dec. 18 in a one count information with paying illegal kickbacks to William Close, ex- trustee of the pension funds of Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 710 and Int'l Ass'n of Machinists Local 701 (a.k.a., the Auto. Mechanics Union), both of Chicago. Allegedly, from about Mar.-Nov. 1997, Philipps paid kickbacks to Close in exchange for Close directing that trades of assets of the two pension funds be executed through PFE's clearing brokers. PFE in turn had agreements with the brokers that PFE would receive 70% of commissions earned on the trades. Close previously pled guilty to racketeering charges arising out of his receipt of illegal kickbacks, and is awaiting sentencing. [USAO D. Mass. 12/18/01]
The Dep't of Labor filed suit Aug. 30 in the U.S. Dist. Court for the W. Dist. of Pa. against United Ass'n of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 354 in Youngwood, Pa. DOL's investigation into the local's Apr. 7 election found that, during the 2-week period prior to the election, the incumbent business manager, along with business agents, campaigned to members at several work sites while on time paid for by the local. DOL's complaint seeks a new election for 4 positions under DOL supervision. [DOL 8/30/01]
DOL Seeks New Election at California Local The Dep't of Labor filed a complaint May 4 in the U.S. Dist. Court for the E. Dist. of Cal. against the United Ass'n of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 442 in Stockton, Cal.. DOL's investigation into the local's Dec. 16, 2000 election uncovered that a candidate violated the local's bylaws when he campaigned for office by "meeting and greeting" voters on election day within a prohibited area. The complaint seeks a new election under DOL supervision for one local union officer position. [DOL 5/4/01]