Kyle Batts tried to make ends meet on his union credit card.He wasn’t thinking ahead.On February 27, Batts, 38, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 738, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to embezzling $40,580.83 in union assets.Roughly during the period April 2003-August 2006, he used a union credit card to pay for personal expenses.The union is based in Longview, about an hour and a half east of Dallas.The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.(States News Service, 2/27/08; OLMS, 3/6/08).
Tennessee Local President Sentenced for Embezzlement
On October 2, Danny Beyser, ex-financial secretary of United Mine Workers Local 1638, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to embezzlement.He had been charged in June with one count of embezzling $83,274.39 in funds from the Moundsville, West Va.-based union.The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.(OLMS, 10/12/07).
Alabama Business Manager Indicted for Embezzlement
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
Of all the motives for corruption by union officials and members, few are more disheartening, or these days common, as the need to cover gambling losses.Donald Lee Travis, a retired officer with the Frederick, Md. police force, is the latest example.Travis, 67, pleaded guilty in Frederick County Circuit Court on February 6 to embezzling at least $45,000 from his Fraternal Order of Police lodge to support a slot-machine habit, receiving a suspended five-year sentence.A 30-year veteran of the force, he admitted he stole from the lodge, which he managed during 2004 and 2005.He regularly played the slot machines at Charles Town Races and Slots, located in nearby Charles Town, West Virginia, spending around $500 to $600 per trip.Travis should have bet on the horses – or found something else to do.(Associated Press, 2/7/07).
Ex-Milwaukee Local Bosses Charged in Superseding Indictment
On January 22, Michael Griffie, an associate of a Cincinnati-area contractor, Electrical Innovations, pleaded guilty in Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas to one count of unauthorized use of property.He had been charged back in March with aggravated theft of property or services worth at least $100,000 from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 212, and with tampering with market recovery forms and forging market recovery fund forms for the purpose of defrauding the local.The no-contest plea follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.The co-owners of Electrical Innovations, Rachetta Johnson and Charlene Monroe, were sentenced last September to five years probation and 500 hours of community service after pleading guilty to theft by deception.(OLMS, 1/25/07).
Ex-Office Manager in Minnesota Sentenced for Embezzlement
A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has indicted Stephen Kostelac on charges of embezzlement.A resident of Fayette County, Pa., Kostelac, 51, secretary-treasurer of the Donora, Pa.-based Lodge 906 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, is accused of stealing dues payments.Prosecutors did not give a specific dollar amount.(Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa., 11/30/06).
Former Treasurer in Alabama Indicted for Embezzlement
The leaders of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers had a feeling the tab for renovation work at their Kansas City, Kansas funds office ran on the high side – way high.Four years earlier they’d sued the wife of the one of the people they’d suspected of embezzlement.Now the federal government wants to know why a rehab job cost around twice what it should have.Early this month Vernon Keith Reed and Richard Michael Taylor were charged in federal court on nine counts each of conspiracy and theft of pension and welfare funds. The IBB, with more than 100,000 members in the U.S. and Canada, is hoping it can recover the funds.
Closure at last could be at hand in the Washington, D.C. teachers’ union scandal.The parent organization of the Washington Teachers Union, the American Federation of Teachers, recently announced that local officials had fixed certain problems cited by the Department of Labor in the WTU’s 2005 financial report.A spokesperson for the AFT called the few remaining problems “routine technical shortcomings.”The action is unrelated to a complaint the DOL filed in February over allegations of irregularities in the local election of more than a year ago.(Washington Times, 3/13/06).
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers needed some renovation work at its headquarters in Kansas City, Kan.Unfortunately, someone at the union thought that an unauthorized use of member funds – about $920,000 worth – could pay for it.Investigators aren’t yet certain if thefts actually occurred.But at least one person at the union appears to have something to hide.As a result, he’s facing some serious legal problems.