Ex-Chrysler Executive Sentenced in UAW Training Fund Scandal

As a key figure in the Chrysler-United Auto Workers training fund scandal, Al Iacobelli expected a stiff sentence. And that’s what he got. On August 27, Iacobelli, former vice president of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to 66 months in prison and 24 months of supervised release for attempting to bribe certain UAW officers with more than $1.5 million in cash and other things of value in 2015 in hopes of persuading them to drop contract demands, and for embezzling funds for his own use. Iacobelli was ordered to pay $853,522 in restitution, a $10,000 fine and a $100 assessment. He had pleaded guilty in January after being indicted last July. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Alfons “Al” Iacobelli, now 58, a … Read More ➡

Whistleblower Accuses St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Council of Corruption

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners long has had corruption problems. The union’s St. Louis-Kansas City Regional Council might well qualify as its corruption leader. Two years ago, Jonathan Gould, a union member and former compliance officer for the council, filed a civil racketeering suit in Missouri state court accusing council officials of “embezzling money from members to inflate their own pensions and cash in on travel perks for spouses,” plus acts of sexual harassment, assault, drunk driving, and drug abuse. The council, which consists of 34 unions in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois representing about 22,000 members, has responded with a blitz of counterclaims. Matters have yet to be settled.

The roots of this legal tug of war go back several years. Jonathan Gould, a floor tile layer from Edwardsville, Ill. who still describes himself as a “strong union man,” during the summer of 2014 had accepted the nomination … Read More ➡

Steelworkers Local Secretary in Massachusetts Charged with Embezzlement

On August 22, Edgar Barajas, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 4-1702, was charged in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Marlborough District Court, with embezzling about $11,000 in funds from the Marlborough-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

CWA Secretary-Treasurer in Indiana Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

On August 20, Diana Brown, ex-financial secretary of Communications Workers of America Local 84807, pleaded guilty in Clark County, Indiana Circuit Court to 10 counts of forgery against the Jeffersonville, Ind. (near Louisville, Ky.) union. She then was sentenced to eight years in jail (six of those years suspended) and six years of probation. Brown had been charged with 10 counts of forgery and one count of theft in July 2015. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Mississippi CWA President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On August 17, Danny Woodcock, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 83770, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to one count of embezzlement of funds from the Columbus, Miss.-based union. He had been indicted last November for stealing more than $300,000 by making unauthorized transfers of several thousand dollars each from the local checking account to his own personal account. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

IUPAT Treasurer in Philadelphia Sentenced for Embezzlement

On August 15, Carl DeRenzis, former treasurer of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 1955, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to three years of probation, with the first six months to be served in a halfway house, and 50 hours of community service for embezzling funds from the Philadelphia-based union. He also was ordered to pay $15,701 in restitution and a $100 special assessment, having already paid restitution in the sum of $37,580. DeRenzis had pleaded guilty last October to stealing $53,281. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

AFSCME Office Employee in Denver Area Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

On August 9, Natalie Przybylski, former office staff employee for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 76, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to one count of making false statements in the financial records of the Englewood, Colo.-based council after having been charged three days earlier. She then was sentenced to one year of supervised probation and ordered to pay $321 in restitution and a $25 court assessment. She previously had paid restitution in the amount of $17,620. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Sheet Metal Workers Bookkeeper in Oklahoma Charged with Theft

On July 23, Deborah Hand, former bookkeeper for International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 270, was charged in an information in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma with embezzling $44,808 in funds from the Tulsa union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Northwest Indiana Ironworkers Indicted for Violent Assaults

On the Indiana side of the Chicago area, showing up for work could get pretty dangerous for nonunion contractors and workers. At least two sources of that danger, for now, are out of commission. On August 16, Thomas Williamson and Jeffrey Veach, respectively, a member and the business agent/president of the Portage, Ind.-based Ironworkers Local 395, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana after being arrested for extortion under the Hobbs Act related to an attack in January 2016 at a construction site in Dyer, Ind. The defendants, already facing a civil suit, pleaded not guilty and were released on bond. The actions follow an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Dyer Police Department.

Violence by union workers against nonunion workers is hardly a “thing of the past.” It still happens, and with union officials spinning inventive … Read More ➡

Amtrak Police Union Officer Sentenced for Wire Fraud

On July 25, Rocky DeFilippo, former delegate of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 189, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to three months of home confinement and two years of probation, and was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and a $300 special assessment, for acts of wire fraud against the Metuchen, N.J.-based union. DeFilippo had been convicted by a jury this March of one count of each of wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and making false statements. He had been charged in May 2017 following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Amtrak Police Department.… Read More ➡