Chicago Union Boss, a Reputed Mobster, Indicted for Social Security Fraud

John Matassa lived in the overlapping worlds of organized labor and organized crime. He slipped up when he tried to retire. On May 25, Matassa, secretary-treasurer of the Independent Union of Amalgamated Workers Local 711, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on 10 criminal counts related to his applying for and receiving Social Security benefits under fraudulent pretenses. According to various investigators and witnesses in other cases, the defendant is a made man in the Chicago Mafia, better known as “the Outfit.” The indictment follows an investigation by the Social Security Administration and the Labor Department. At his arraignment the following week, Matassa pleaded not guilty to all counts. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly set him free without having to post bond.

John “Pudgy” Matassa Jr., now 65, a resident of Arlington Heights, Ill., was a union official with a past. Until the late … Read More ➡

SMART President in Washington State Sentenced for Embezzlement

On August 29, Pascale McAtee, former president of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 161, Transportation Division, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to five months in prison, to be followed by three years of probation, for embezzling more than $82,000 in funds from the Everett (Snohomish County), Wash.-based union. He also was ordered to pay $73,583 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. McAtee had pleaded guilty in April after being indicted last December. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

AFGE Secretary-Treasurer in Denver Sentenced for Embezzlement

On August 23, Violet Lamorie, former secretary-treasurer for American Federation of Government Employees Local 695, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to 10 months of home confinement and five years of probation for embezzling $71,430 from the Denver union. She also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Lamorie had pleaded guilty last November after being charged in October. The union represents employees of the Denver U.S. Mint plant. The actions follow a joint investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Ex-UAW Official Pleads Guilty to Role in Chrysler Training Fund Scandal

In the overall scheme of things, Virdell King was a minor figure. But the evidence of her guilt was compelling all the same. On August 29, Ms. King, a former contract negotiator for the United Auto Workers, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy related to her diverting tens of thousands of dollars from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center to her own use and the use of others. She had been charged on August 11. The two principals in the case, Monica Morgan, widow of late UAW Vice President General Holiefield, and Alphons Iaocbelli, a former Chrysler vice president and labor negotiator, were indicted in July for their roles in the $1.2 million scam. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Union … Read More ➡

LIUNA Treasurer in Central California Sentenced for Theft

On August 21, Edward Padilla, former secretary-treasurer/business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 220, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to 21 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling $168,780 in funds from the Bakersfield-based union during September 2012-December 2014. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Padilla had been charged in early March, and pleaded guilty near the end of the month. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

NYC-Area Production Workers Business Manager Pleads Guilty to Extortion

Who’s the meanest person in New York City-area organized labor? The competition is tough, but the winner might be Roland Bedwell. On August 8, Bedwell, business manager for United Plant and Production Workers Local 175, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to attempting to shake down a nonunion paving contractor several years ago. The offense was part of a mobster-enforced union pattern of blocking work sites, assaulting workers and coaxing builders into awarding contracts to the Roslyn Heights (Long Island), N.Y. local. The plea follows a probe by the FBI, the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the NYPD. FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney Jr. remarked: “The subject in this case bragged he should be in prison for his crimes. Now that’s exactly where he’s headed.”

United Plant and Production Workers Local 175, an affiliate of the International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades (IUJAT), has a “bad boy” … Read More ➡

AFSCME Local President in Baltimore Indicted for Theft

On August 2, Sophia Love, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2751, was indicted in the Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore, Maryland on one count of theft of at least $10,000 but less than $100,000 from the Baltimore union. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Transportation Union Officer in Indiana Charged with Theft

On July 24, Thomas Rodgers, former general chairman of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), General Committee of Adjustment 247, was charged in the LaPorte, Indiana Circuit Court with theft of $3,672 in funds from the LaPorte-based union. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Officials of AFGE Local in NE Pennsylvania Charged with Fraud

Michael Evans and William Uggiano knew there was no way out. That’s why they have indicated their intent to plead guilty. On July 28, the pair, respectively, former vice president and former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1699, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania with conspiring to commit bank fraud in a sum of more than $50,000 from the union, which represents VA Hospital employees in Wilkes-Barre. Evans and Uggiano each were suspended from their union positions. The charges follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Office of Inspector General.

According to prosecutors, Michael Evans, 56, and William Uggiano, 60, each a resident of Wilkes-Barre, during 2013 and 2014 made unauthorized withdrawals of funds from the Local 1699 account at Vantage Trust First Credit Union for their own benefit. In early 2015, suspicious union … Read More ➡

Oklahoma City AFSCME President Charged with Embezzlement; Pleads No Contest

At least William Bryles now has his easiest legal problems behind him. On July 26, Bryles, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2406, was charged in the District Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma with four counts of embezzlement. He then pleaded no contest and signed a three-year deferred sentence order. The court also ordered Bryles to pay $11,174 in restitution to the Oklahoma City union, plus court costs. He had been arrested a year ago following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

As Union Corruption Update noted at the time, Bryles, now 54, a resident of Oklahoma City, was arrested last August 17 on seven separate embezzlement charges. He allegedly had diverted more than $15,000 in funds belonging to Local 2406, a city employee union, for such personal uses as basketball tournaments, restaurant meals, cell phone charges and flowers … Read More ➡

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