On October 3, Glenn Robert Smith, former comptroller for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of embezzling $499,087 in funds from the Warren, Mich.-based union. He had been charged in July 2015 following a joint probe by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Despite the staggering sum of money stolen, the case has received virtually no media coverage. A possible clue as to the nature of the thefts, suggested by Union Corruption Update at the time of the charge, lay in a 17-count civil complaint filed by the regional council in November 2013 against Smith and two other defendants, including Smith’s wife, for misuse of union funds. The plaintiff had estimated the loss at more than $25,000. If that case was related to … Read More ➡
On October 4, Matt Smith, former secretary-treasurer of Transport Workers Union Local 576, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on one count of embezzling $399,499 in funds from the Hurst, Texas (Dallas-Ft. Worth area) union. Two days later, on October 6, he pleaded guilty. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
The resolve of unions to coerce support from unwilling employees shouldn’t be underestimated. Neither should the resistance of such employees. On September 28, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear an appeal in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a case challenging the authority of public-sector unions to impose representation-related dues (“agency fees”) upon non-member workers. If successful, the plaintiffs, a State of Illinois child support specialist and two other public employees, will have overturned the basis for 40 years of union-driven bargaining that has pushed many state and local governments to the brink of insolvency. The Court was deadlocked in a similar case last year.
On September 25, Michael Mathis, former treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 34, a Teamsters affiliate, pleaded guilty in Franklin County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas to one count of theft from the Columbus-based union in the amount of $5,784. He then was sentenced to 60 days of incarceration (suspended) and one year of probation, and ordered to pay full restitution. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Division of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Ray Ventrone was resigned to his fate months ago. Now he’s made it official. On September 14, Ventrone, ex-business manager of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) Local 154, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to one count of embezzling roughly $1.5 million in funds from the Pittsburgh union and one count of tax evasion in the sum of $265,343. He had been charged this April, a couple years after various news outlets had revealed spending irregularities by the international union and Local 154 in particular. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will seek a prison sentence of three to four years. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
On September 21, Bob Buford, former president of United Auto Workers Local 2419, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release for mail fraud in connection with his embezzlement of $128,697 in funds from the Danville, Ill.-based union. He also was ordered to pay $129,723 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. Buford had pleaded guilty last November after being indicted that March. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On September 7, Ronald Watson, former treasurer of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 105F, pleaded guilty in Jefferson County, New York District Court to criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree. He then was sentenced to one year of conditional discharge and was ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution within 10 days. The union is based in Fort Drum, N.Y. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
It may have been a formality, but it was welcome news just the same. On September 6, Michael Evans and William Uggiano, respectively, former president and former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1699, each pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in the estimated combined sum of more than $50,000 from the Wilkes-Barre union. They had been charged in July. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to prosecutors, Michael Evans, 56, and William Uggiano, 60, each a resident of Wilkes-Barre, during May 2013-May 2014 engaged in a scheme to commit fraud against the roughly 500-member union’s Vantage Trust First Credit Union account “by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.” On several occasions, the men withdrew … Read More ➡
On September 6, Ryan Jones, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local S6, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine to embezzling $280,865 in funds over a more than four-year period from the union, which represents certain employees at the Bath Iron Works shipbuilding facility. He had been indicted in August following a joint investigation by the FBI and the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Jones faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine at sentencing.… Read More ➡
On August 31, Monique Tyson, former secretary for International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 3, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to one year of probation for falsifying records of the Raytown, Mo.-based union to conceal thefts of an amount between $7,500 and $20,864. She previously had paid restitution in the amount of $7,500. Tyson had pleaded guilty in March. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡