Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA)

Laborers Local Treasurer in Arizona Sentenced for Fraud

LIUNA logoOn March 4, Therlen Benally, former treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America Local 1386, was sentenced in the Superior Court of Maricopa County (Ariz.) to three years of probation for theft from the Phoenix-based health care workers union.  She also was ordered to pay $1,220 in restitution and $215 in special assessments.  Benally had pleaded guilty in January after being indicted on 29 counts last October.  The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Laborers Local Business Manager in Arizona Sentenced

LIUNA logoOn February 4, Anne Susan, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1386, was sentenced in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court to three years of probation for theft, identity theft and forgery against the Phoenix-based union.  She also was ordered to pay $18,056 in restitution.  Susan had pleaded guilty in January after being charged in October.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. 

Ex-Treasurer of Laborers Local in Arizona Pleads Guilty

LIUNA logoOn January 22, Therlen Benally, former treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America Local 1386, pleaded guilty in Maricopa County (Phoenix) Superior Court to theft, identity theft and forgery after being charged in a 29-count indictment last October.  Anne Susan, former business manager of the Phoenix-based local, had pleaded guilty this January on similar charges after being indicted in October.  Local 1386 represents certain area health care employees.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.   

Southern Illinois Laborers Local Bookkeeper Sentenced

LIUNA logoOn January 7, Carolyn Hall, former bookkeeper for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1197, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $100 assessment for embezzling $26,491 in funds from the McLeansboro (Hamilton County), Ill.-based union.  She had pleaded guilty last August after being charged that April.  Hall previously had made full restitution.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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.

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