Pittsburgh Boilermakers Business Manager Charged with $1.5M Ripoff

Timing is everything. Two days ago, April 24, Ray C. Ventrone, former business manager of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 154, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in an information with one count of embezzlement of nearly $1.5 million in funds from the Pittsburgh union and five counts of income tax evasion. He plans to plead guilty. Back in April 2015, various news sources had revealed that Ventrone and possibly other local officers were under investigation for spending irregularities. The charges, the result of a joint FBI, IRS and Labor Department probe, follows revelations earlier this month that IBB officials at Kansas City, Kan. headquarters are continuing to spend recklessly despite similar evidence published five years earlier.

Boilermakers Local 154 represents about 2,000 welders, pipefitters and other construction workers in the Pittsburgh area. Like its parent union, as Union Corruption Update has described, dues-paying …

Boilermakers Officials Continue High Living with Member Dues

Labor unions rarely skimp on salary and benefits, especially for those at the top. Yet for sheer audacity, few are the equal of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. An investigative report published this past Saturday in the Kansas City Star, a follow-up to an expose of several years ago, is an apt reminder. The author of each, Judy Thomas, plumbed publicly-available financial records of the union, concluding that officials and support staff have continued to indulge expensive tastes at members’ expense. National Legal and Policy Center Chairman Ken Boehm, quoted in the new article, had this to say: “This is so over the top. It really tells you that there aren’t the kinds of checks and balances that are supposed to be there.” A number of local affiliates aren’t so happy about this either.

When it comes to compensation for union office jobs, nobody does it quite like the …

Boilermakers Secretary-Treasurer in Virginia Sentenced

On March 29, William Dixon, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 2014, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Lebanon, Va.-based union. He also was ordered to pay $3,408 in restitution on top of the $930 he already paid. Dixon had pleaded guilty last December immediately following his being charged. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Boilermakers Secretary in SW Virginia Charged; Pleads Guilty

On December 12, William Dixon, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 2014, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia with one count of embezzling $4,338 in funds from the Lebanon, Va. union.  He then pleaded guilty.  The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Feds Probe Free-Spending Boilermakers Local in Pittsburgh

Boilermaker at workWhen it comes to living large, no union is quite the match for the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers.  And the IBB appears to be setting an example for its local affiliates.  Late last month, KDKA, the CBS television affiliate for the Pittsburgh area, confirmed that the FBI has launched an investigation of the Pittsburgh-based Boilermakers Local 154.  The union, which represents more than 2,000 welders, pipefitters and other construction workers, may have diverted as much as $1 million in member dues for unauthorized expenditures during the three most recent fiscal years.  The probe is based on financial reports submitted to the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Union Corruption Update back in May 2012 discussed at length the extravagant salaries and benefits enjoyed by board members, officers and staff at the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers’ home base in Kansas City, Kansas.  The article, based on an expose by the …

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of the Year

If the year 2014 had a main theme, it was, as in 2013, the unions’ pursuit of legal advantage. The results were mixed. Unions scored victories at the National Labor Relations Board, but they tasted defeat in the courts, most notably in their effort to unionize private home care providers in Illinois and overturn a Wisconsin law reining in public-sector costs. In another bitter pill, the United Auto Workers last February lost a representation election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. As for dipping their hands in tills, national union leaders generally behaved themselves, but many local bosses, office employees and business agents did not. A suit by dissidents against a Los Angeles-area Operating Engineers local revealed first-term Obama Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and its bosses and associates, to have ethically-challenged pasts. Whether successful or not, then, unions once again provided much to write about.

The National Labor Relations Board, …

Boilermakers Bookkeeper in Indiana Sentenced for Theft

Boilermaker at workOn May 14, Karen Stone, former bookkeeper for International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local Lodge 374, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one year of probation for embezzling $9,170 in funds from the Hammond-based local. She also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 assessment. Stone had pleaded guilty on February 7 upon being charged. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Boilermakers Bookkeeper in Indiana Charged with Embezzlement

BoilermakerOn February 7, Karen Stone, former bookkeeper for International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local Lodge 374, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana with embezzling $9,169 in funds from the Hammond union. She then pleaded guilty. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Office Manager of Boilermakers Training Fund Sentenced for $400K+ Embezzlement

boilermakers-at-workThe International Brotherhood of Boilermakers training fund had a cash shortfall. And the reason was that the money was going into the pockets of an executive assistant. On Monday, March 17, Angela Heninger, sales and marketing director/office manager for the fund, known as Mobilization, Optimization, Stabilization and Training Trust (MOST), was sentenced in Kansas City, Kan. federal court to 30 months in prison for embezzling more than $400,000 over a more than a half decade. She had pleaded guilty last August 22 to embezzlement after being charged in a superseding information count the previous day. Heninger also was ordered to pay $640,000 in restitution. 

The Boilermakers union, as Union Corruption Update had noted at length in May 2012, pays its top people at Kansas City, Kansas headquarters lavishly. Angela Heninger, with a combined salary and benefits for 2011 of nearly $175,000, was no exception. Yet somehow she felt compelled to …

Boilermakers Secretary-Treasurer of Kansas Local Charged

boilermakers-at-workOn January 10, Stephanie Johnson, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Lodge 465D, was charged in the Oklahoma County Court for District 7 with one count of forgery from the Kansas City, Kan. union. A warrant subsequently was issued for her arrest. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

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