Maryland Contractor Sentenced for Role in $1.7M+ LIUNA Scam

For a while, Gary Cooper had a lucrative deal going with Laborers International Union of North America Local 657 – until his business partners were caught.  On February 27, Cooper, principal owner of a Greenbelt, Md.-based building contractor, STS General Contracting, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to 68 months in prison for his role in embezzling more than $1.7 million in funds from the union, at the time based in Washington, D.C.  He also was ordered to pay the union $1.632 million in restitution and forfeit $1.734 million in illegally-derived proceeds.  Two other defendants, Anthony Frederick and Christopher Kwegan, were sentenced last month for their offenses.  The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI and the Labor Department.

According to prosecutors, Cooper, now 57, a resident of Kettering, Md., along with co-defendant area real estate agent and STS co-owner Christopher Kwegan, conspired with …

Business Partner of Convicted LIUNA Business Manager in Maryland Sentenced

Christopher Kwegan wasn’t a union man.  But right now he no doubt is regretting his dealings with one union in particular.  On February 8, Kwegan, a real estate closing agent and co-owner of a Greenbelt, Md. consulting firm, STS General Contracting, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to four years in prison, three years of probation and 120 hours of community service for his role in various schemes to divert at least $1.7 million in funds from the Washington, D.C.-based Laborers International Union of North America Local 657 to STS.  He also was ordered to pay $1,632,000 in restitution, the identical sum required of convicted co-defendant Anthony Frederick, who headed the union.  Former STS principal owner Gary Cooper also was convicted in the case.  The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI and the Labor Department.

According to prosecutors, Kwegan enabled Frederick and Cooper …

Business Manager of Washington, D.C. LIUNA Local Sentenced

Anthony Frederick Sr. used his union as a private bank to fund various projects.  For now, his only project is incarceration.  Two days ago, on February 7, Frederick, former business manager of Laborers International Union of North America Local 657, was sentenced in District of Columbia federal court to four years in prison, and ordered to pay full restitution, for embezzling more than $1.7 million from the formerly Washington, D.C.-based union, which represents about 1,650 workers in Washington, D.C. and several surrounding Maryland and Virginia counties.  Frederick had pleaded guilty on November 1.  Two other persons, Gary Cooper and Christopher Kwegan, also were convicted in the scheme, the result of a probe by the FBI and the Labor Department.

Union Corruption Update twice has reported on this case.  Frederick, now 50, a resident of Upper Marlboro, Md., had served as LIUNA Local 657 business manager for about a decade.  But …

Maryland Laborers Business Manager Pleads Guilty to $1.7M+ Ripoff; Jury Convicts Contractor

liuna logoIt was one of the stranger union scams, stretching from suburban Washington, D.C. to the Arab nation of Qatar.  And the defendants reaped what they sowed.  On November 1, Anthony Frederick Sr., former business manager of Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 657, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to fraud and theft charges in connection with the diversion of over $1.7 million in funds from the Washington, D.C.-based union to a suburban Maryland firm, STS General Contracting.  Three weeks later, on November 22, STS owner Gary Cooper was convicted by a Washington trial jury on similar charges.  A Maryland real estate agent, Christopher Kwegan, previously had pleaded guilty in the case.  The convictions follow indictments handed down in October 2015.

LIUNA Local 657 represents roughly 1,500 construction workers in the Washington, D.C. area.  It also for a while served as a source …

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 having anything to do with Arab politics.  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.

According to the indictment, during May 2013-June 2014 Anthony Frederick, 49, a resident of Upper Marlboro, Md., used his position as business manager for Laborers Local 657 to divert more than $1.7 million in local funds …