New Jersey UAW President, Insurance Broker Charged in $6.6M Health Plan Scam

Health care fraud these past several years has been a growth industry, especially when union leaders help create it.  On January 9, Sergio Acosta and Lawrence Ackerman were charged in Newark, N.J. federal court with defrauding a union-sponsored health care plan out of about $6.6 million.  Acosta and Ackerman, respectively, the former president of United Auto Workers Local 2326 and a ranking officer of several insurance companies, allegedly recruited hundreds of ineligible participants from across the U.S. to pose as plan participants.  Each defendant was indicted on one count each of conspiring to defraud Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and conspiring to defraud the union health plan.  An arraignment date has yet to be set.

Sergio Acosta, now 66, a resident of Passaic, served as president of the Woodbridge, N.J.-based UAW Local 2326 during 2002-08.  Following that tenure, he was a representative of the international union and a trustee of …

Auto Workers President in Indiana Pleads Guilty to Fraud

united-auto-workers-logoMichael Bennett wrote lots of checks to himself.  And his union unknowingly picked up the tab until it realized what was going on.  On November 21, Bennett, former president of United Auto Workers Local 2317, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one count of wire fraud in excess of $100,000 against the Lafayette, Ind.-based union.  He had been indicted this August.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

UAW Local 2317 represents about 700 employees at the Fairfield Manufacturing plant in Lafayette.  According to federal prosecutors, Bennett, who headed the union during 2006-15, forged the signature of the local treasurer on about 170 checks to cover nonexistent “travel expenses.”  Having forged the checks, he either cashed them or deposited them into his own account.  He also rented out the union hall for outside functions, but without …

UAW Secretary-Treasurer in Indiana Charged with Theft

united-auto-workers-logoOn November 17, David Maddy, former financial secretary-treasurer of United Auto Workers Local 2339, was charged in Rush County, Indiana Circuit Court with one count of theft of funds in the amount of $37,197 from the Rushville union.  The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Ex-President of Illinois Auto Workers Local Pleads Guilty

united-auto-workers-logoOn November 10, Bob Buford, former president of United Auto Workers Local 2419, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to one count of mail fraud in the amount of more than $128,000 against the Danville, Ill.-based union.  He had been indicted this March following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  Local 2419 represents workers at the Danville assembly plant of FreightCar America.…

Auto Workers Local V.P. in Louisiana Sentenced for Forgery

uaw-president-dennis-williams-300x198_0_1On May 5, Gregory Hill, former vice president of United Auto Workers Local 2297, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to four years of probation, and ordered to pay $12,232 in restitution, for forging checks in an account in the name of the Shreveport union.  Hill, along with another Local 2297 member, Danny Rawls, had been indicted in March 2015 on nine counts each.  Hill pleaded guilty this January to one count of uttering and forgery in the amount of $581.  Rawls already had pleaded guilty last September and was sentenced this February.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

UAW President in Central Illinois Indicted for Theft

united-auto-workers-logoOn March 22, Bob Buford, former president of United Auto Workers Local 2419, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois on one count of mail fraud related to his embezzlement of $128,697 from the savings account of the Danville, Ill.-based union back in 2010.  He also was indicted for concealing the thefts in union financial records.  The charges follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

UAW Member in Louisiana Sentenced for Records Fraud

united-auto-workers-logoOn February 17, Danny Rawls, former member of United Auto Workers Local 2297, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to one year of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,208 for concealing acts of theft in financial records of the Shreveport union.  He had pleaded guilty in September after being indicted in March 2015.  Rawls and Local Vice President Gregory Hill had been charged with embezzlement and forgery totaling more than $12,000.  The actions followed a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Secretary of UAW-Sponsored Group in Wisconsin Sentenced

united-auto-workers-logoAt least Helen Genal is remorseful.  On January 25, Genal, former secretary-treasurer of the Fox Valley Area Community Action Program, a project of the United Auto Workers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to six months in prison for embezzling $29,968 from the Oshkosh-based labor organization.  She pled guilty last November after being charged in July with one count each of embezzlement and making a false statement in union records.  The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to federal prosecutors, Genal began diverting union funds only a week after being hired in December 2011.  Apparently, it was a hard habit to break.  “I didn’t realize it had gotten this bad,” she said at her sentencing hearing.  “I want to stay at home with my husband and my children, and pay restitution to the union because I’m so …

VW Maintenance Workers in Chattanooga to Join Union; Automaker Appeals

vwWhen the United Auto Workers in April 2014 gave up on its bid to unionize hourly workers at the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga two months after its ballot defeat, then-President Bob King intimated the union would be back.  It’s a lot more than an intimation now.  On December 4, robotics and other machine maintenance workers at the facility voted 108-44 in favor of UAW representation.  The National Labor Relations Board a week earlier had approved a union request for an election.  Unlike the last time, VW is not siding with the union.  Even before the vote, the German automaker had announced its intent to appeal the NLRB ruling.  The victorious workers are but a fraction of all employees, but they are celebrating all the same.  And the NLRB remains very much in the picture.

For decades, the United Auto Workers have viewed the South as prime organizing territory.  …

Former Member of UAW Local in Louisiana Pleads Guilty

united-auto-workers-logoOn September 2, Danny Rawls, former member of United Auto Workers Local 2297, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to one charge of making a false statement to a Labor Department investigator.  Back in March, Rawls, along with Local 2297 Vice President Gregory Hill, had been indicted on nine counts related to aiding and abetting embezzlement in excess of $12,000, uttering forged checks, and conspiracy to commit forgery against the Shreveport-based union.  The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Page 1 of 1412345...10...Last »