Plumbers Bookkeeper in Boston Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced

plumberreduced_8On September 26, Esther LaFontant, former bookkeeper for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 12, pleaded guilty in Suffolk County Superior Court (Mass.) to three counts of larceny totaling $154,857 and one count of concealing the thefts from the Boston-based union.  Four days later, on September 30, she was sentenced to one year of incarceration and 10 years of probation, and ordered to make full restitution.  LaFontant had been charged in March following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Upstate New York Plumbers Member, Brother Sentenced for Benefit Fraud

plumbers-union-logoJohn VonFricken tried to hustle his union health care plan.  Now he’s getting a brief education on incarceration.  On July 5, VonFricken, a member of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 7, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to three months of weekend time at the Renssalaer County Jail, plus three years of probation, for defrauding the union health care plan out of $54,600.  He also must pay full restitution and complete 50 hours of community service.  VonFricken had pleaded guilty in February after being indicted last November.  The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General.

According to prosecutors, John VonFricken, now 51, a resident of Troy, N.Y., had submitted false receipts for orthodontic services and then submitted the invoices to the Plumbers Local 7 health care plan.  Apparently, this behavior runs in the family.  …

Boston Plumbers Bookkeeper Charged with Thefts

Plumber at workOn March 10, Esther LaFontant, former bookkeeper for United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 12, was charged in Suffolk County (Mass.) Superior Court with three counts of theft totaling approximately $155,000 from the Boston-based union.  She also was charged with falsifying entries in the books of her accounting firm.  The charges follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Massachusetts State Police.…

Cleveland Plumbers Office Secretary Sentenced for Theft

plumbers-union-logoOn January 19, Heather Banhidy, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 120, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to two years of probation and 50 hours of community service for embezzling $13,906 from the Cleveland union.  She also was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment on top of the full restitution which she already had made.  Banhidy had pleaded guilty in October following her indictment in August.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Plumbers Ex-Business Manager in West Virginia Charged with Benefits Theft

plumbers-union-logoOn October 6, Jeffrey Beresford, former business manager and financial secretary of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 83, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia with two counts of embezzling funds from the joint apprenticeship program of the Wheeling union.  Beresford, 55, a resident of Cameron, W.Va., allegedly used position as a program trustee to write unauthorized checks from its bank account.  The alleged offense is separate from a financial records fraud charge in 2013 to which Beresford pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay $4,507 in restitution.  The new charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General.…

Plumbers Secretary in Cleveland Pleads Guilty to Theft

plumbers-union-logoOn October 26, Heather Banhidy, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 120, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to one count of embezzlement $13,906 in funds from the Cleveland union.  She had been indicted on August 12 following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Plumbers Local Secretary in Ohio Indicted for Theft, Records Fraud

plumbers-union-logoHeather Banhidy isn’t likely to pursue a career with her union any further.  On August 12, Banhidy, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 120, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on one count of embezzlement of $13,906 in funds from the Cleveland-based union and one count of falsifying union records.  The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Prosecutors allege that Banhidy, 50, a resident of Olmsted Township, Ohio, during approximately December 2011 through September 2013, stole union funds by way of falsification, concealment, withholding and destruction of financial records.  No information is available yet as to whether she will plead guilty.

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West Virginia Plumbers Business Manager Sentenced for Records Fraud

Plumbers logoOn July 16, Jeffrey Beresford, former business manager and financial secretary of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 83, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to one year of probation and ordered to pay $4,507 in restitution and a $25 special assessment for falsifying records of the Wheeling-based local in connection with theft. Two days later, he paid full restitution. Beresford had pled guilty in April. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Plumbers Business Manager, Wife Sentenced for Thefts from Northern California Local

plumberreduced_7On May 17, Robert Carr, former financial secretary and business manager for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 228, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to 30 months in prison for embezzling union funds. That same day, his wife, Theresa Ann Carr, was sentenced to three months in prison for her role in the thefts. The couple also was ordered to pay a combined $120,000 in restitution. The Carrs had pleaded guilty this February after being initially charged in April 2009 with theft of more than $45,000 and then charged in a superseding indictment in August 2011. The actions follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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Plumbers Business Manager in West Virginia Pleads Guilty to Records Fraud

Plumbers logoOn April 10, Jeffrey Beresford, business manager and financial secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 83, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to falsifying records of the Wheeling local. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

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