On May 31, Stephen Arena, former president of Local 148 of the International Union of Allied Novelty and Production Workers, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to embezzling $193,000 in funds from the Jersey City, N.J.-based union. Arena, along with the union's secretary treasurer, David Caivano, had been arrested in September 2010 for stealing a combined more than $375,000 during July 2005-March 2010. The arrests took place in conjunction with a 29-count indictment by a Newark federal grand jury. The pair routinely awarded themselves unauthorized raises, bonuses and paid vacations. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Stephen Arena and David Caivano made sure nobody would look while they looted their union's general and benefit funds. In the end, federal prosecutors are doing the looking. On Tuesday, September 21, Arena and Caivano, respectively, president and secretary-treasurer of Local 148 of the International Union of Allied Novelty and Production Workers, were arrested for embezzling more than $375,000 from the Jersey City union over a nearly a half-decade. As the local is no stranger to scandal, it hardly needs this development.