Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA)

LIUNA Business Manager in Phoenix Pleads Guilty

LIUNA logoOn January 4, Anne Susan, former business manager of Laborers International Union of North America Local 1386, pleaded guilty in Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court to theft, identity theft and forgery.  She had been charged with a 24-count indictment last October 5.  Charged in a 29-count indictment the same day for forgery and other offenses was former Local 1386 treasurer Therlen Benally.  The union is based in Phoenix.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of the Year

Top Ten logoAs in 2014, union leaders last year directed much of their energies toward maximizing political and legal advantage.  And they scored tangible victories.  President Barack Obama, now in his last year in office, is without question the best White House friend of organized labor in decades.  Among other things, unions won major cases before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), with its built-in 3-2 Democratic Party majority.  And the Teamsters achieved its long-sought goal of release from federal control established following a 1989 civil racketeering settlement.  Yet organized labor also experienced its share of setbacks, especially in the courts.  And they received lots of unwanted exposure for embezzlement and fraud.  As far as rank and file members are concerned, the most pressing problem is the growing possibility that their pension plans will be depleted.     

Oklahoma LIUNA Local Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced

LIUNA logoOn November 20, Michael Low, former secretary-treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America Local 2097, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma to 18 days of incarceration, three years of probation and 104 hours of community service for making false statements in union financial records in connection with his embezzlement of $12,937 in funds from the Oklahoma City-based union.  Low, who already had paid restitution, also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.  He had pleaded guilty back on March 26 after being charged that day.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

New Mexico Laborers Local Business Agent Indicted for Theft

LIUNA logoOn November 19, Daniel Correa, business agent for Laborers International Union of North American Local 16, was indicted in the Third Judicial District Court of Santa Ana County, N.M. on one count of embezzlement in an amount exceeding $20,000 from the Albuquerque-based union.  The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Washington, D.C.-Area LIUNA Ex-Business Manager, Two Contractors Charged with $1.7M+ in Thefts

LIUNA logoIt’s hard to imagine theft from an American labor union being related to politics in a Arab nation.  But federal prosecutors are convinced they have found a connection.  And that's not the only problem in this case.  Yesterday, on October 28, the FBI and the Labor Department announced the indictment of three Maryland men – Anthony Frederick, Gary Cooper and Christopher Kwegan – for theft, fraud, money laundering, and bribe-taking related to the disappearance of more than $1.7 million from the Washington, D.C.-based Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 657.  Frederick is a former business manager of the union; Cooper and Kwegan are co-owners of a Greenbelt, Md.-based construction firm, STS General Contracting.

Laborers Bookkeeper in Los Angeles Sentenced for Theft

LIUNA logoOn September 14, Sergio Rascon Jr., former bookkeeper assistant for Laborers International Union of North America Local 300, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment for embezzling $2,417 from the Los Angeles union.  Rascon had pleaded guilty in June.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Laborers Bookkeeper in Southern Illinois Pleads Guilty to Theft

LIUNA logoThere wasn’t much question about whether Carolyn Hall had taken union funds.  At least it could be said that she was able and willing to return them.  On August 7, Hall, formerly bookkeeper for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1197, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to one count of embezzling $26,491 in funds from the McLeansboro (Hamilton County), Ill.-based union.  She had been charged this past April following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  Court records show that she already has made full restitution.

Illinois Laborers Local Bookkeeper Indicted for Embezzlement

LIUNA logoCarolyn Hall took around a year and a half to have the law of averages catch up.  On or about April 24, Hall, former bookkeeper for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1197, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois with embezzling $26,491 in cash receipts from the union, which represents construction and other workers in southern counties of the state.  Prosecutors allege Hall, 53, a resident of McLeansboro, Ill., during July 2012-February 2014 stole cash receipts from member dues and used the funds to cover personal expenses.  The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Laborers Secretary-Treasurer in Oklahoma Charged; Pleads Guilty

LIUNA logoOn March 26, Michael Low, former secretary-treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America Local 2097, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma to one count of making a false statement in financial records of the Oklahoma City union in connection with his embezzlement of $12,937.  He then pleaded guilty.  The charge and plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.     

St. Louis Mail Handlers President Sentenced for Thefts

LIUNA logoOn December 10, Anthony Davis, former president of National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 314, a Laborers affiliate, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to one year and nine months in prison, and ordered to pay full restitution, for embezzling more than $40,000 in funds from the St. Louis-based union. He had been convicted by a jury in September after being indicted in April. Prosecutors had alleged that Davis, now 52, a resident of O'Fallon, Ill., had submitted fake invoices to the union and pocketed the reimbursements. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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