U.S. Dist. Judge Rebecca B. Smith (E.D. Va., H.W. Bush) sentenced union boss Donnie L. Block on Sept. 6 to a year and a day in federal prison for embezzling more than $38,000 from the Bakery, Confectionery & Tobacco Workers Int'l Union Local 66 in Portsmouth, Va. Smith also was ordered Block to make full restitution. He was indicted for a $38,703 embezzlement in Sept. 2000 and pled guilty in May. Smith said she added the additional day to Block's sentence to ensure that he spends the time in a federal prison. Sentences less than twelve months are generally served in local jails. Block, who has been free on bond, is scheduled to report to prison within 60 days.
Donnie L. Block pled guilty May 14 to embezzling more than $38,000 from the Bakery, Confectionery & Tobacco Workers Int'l Union Local 66 in Portsmouth, Va. He served as the local's president since 1995 and was indicted for a $38,703 embezzlement on Sept. 20, 2000.
The Dep't of Labor's Office of Labor Mgmt. Stnds. found that Block embezzled dues paid through payroll deductions between 1997-98. He wrote and cashed more than 100 checks drawn on the local's bank account causing it to be overdrawn. Four checks, for almost $1,500, were cashed at a Las Vegas casino. He also wrote two checks to his wife, worth $700. Reportedly, the couple recently separated due to his gambling. U.S. Dist. Judge Rebecca Beach Smith allowed Block to remain free on bond until his Sept. 6 sentencing. He faces up to five years and a $250,000 fine. [Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) 5/15/01]