On January 19, Ronald Witt, former business manager of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 450, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to one count of conspiracy from the Houston-based local. Witt and his wife, Anita, had been arrested last July on charges of embezzling more than $150,000 from the local's general and job training funds, and forging financial records to conceal the thefts. He originally had denied all allegations, claiming he had receipts that would exonerate him and his wife. The actions follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Ronald and Anita Witt enjoyed the good life, especially luxury cars and trips to Hawaii. They're now facing a potential trip to prison. On Friday, July 8, Mr. and Mrs. Witt, respectively, business manager and financial secretary of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 450, were arrested by U.S. Marshals and charged in Houston federal court that day with embezzling more than $150,000 from the union's general fund and job training benefit plan, and forging records to conceal the thefts. The couple also faces a civil suit filed by the Houston-based local on April 21 alleging "$750,000 in unlawful expenditures." Ronald Witt denies all criminal and civil allegations, claiming he has receipts that will exonerate him and his wife.