IATSE Vice President, Business Agent in SE Virginia Plead Guilty to Fraud

On July 17, Dennis Nicely, former vice president for International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 264, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzlement in the sum of $57,310 from the Hampton, Va. union. His wife, former Local 264 business agent Dorian Nicely, pleaded guilty to the same offense that day. Each had been charged in June following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

SMART Secretary-Treasurer in Washington State Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement, Concealment

On July 13, Gregory Normand, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 324, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to one count of embezzling over $248,000 in funds from the Marysville (near Everett) union and two counts of making false statements in union financial records to conceal the thefts. He had been indicted last October on one count of embezzling about $443,000. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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New Jersey AFGE Local President Sentenced for Theft

On June 29, Sharon Williams-Savage, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2425, was sentenced in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County, to five years of probation for theft from the East Orange, N.J.-based union. She also was ordered to pay $180 per month in restitution totaling $18,000, plus a $30 law enforcement fee and a $75 court penalty. Williams-Savage had pleaded guilty in April following a multiple count indictment in December 2015. Though the union is based in Essex County, the offenses occurred in nearby Passaic County. The actions follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the New Jersey State Criminal Division.… Read More ➡

AFGE Local President in Colorado Charged with Theft

On July 2, Ashley Jacobson, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2430, was charged in El Paso County (Colorado) District Court with two counts of theft of an unspecified amount from the Colorado Springs-based union, which represents employees at the local VA Hospital. The charges follow a joint probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the Veterans Affairs Department’s Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Steelworkers Local Officials in Ohio Charged with Theft

On June 26, Shantel Hunter and Travis Hunter, respectively, former president and former acting financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 1-662, were charged in Wayne County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas with theft by deception from the Wooster, Ohio union. Shantel Hunter is accused of stealing between $500 and $5,000; Travis Hunter is accused of stealing between $1,000 and $7,500. The union represents employees of International Paper. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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Carpenters Member in Indiana Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

At the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC), theft seems to be a way of doing business. And for Luka Kljajic, business was good until he was caught. On July 25, Kljajic, a member of the Greenwood, Ind.-based council, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to submitting nearly $50,000 in false claims to a union-sponsored benefit plan and to assisting other union members in submitting false claims to the plan. Sentencing is scheduled for November 19. The plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

According to prosecutors, Kljajic during 2012-14 submitted fake reimbursement requests for medical plan expenses and helped other union members with similar deceptions. In the case of the latter offenses, he would receive fees ranging from $100 to $500 per claim. In his written plea agreement, he admitted to … Read More ➡

Northern California Tile Setters Business Manager Indicted

On June 25, John Zehm, former business manager for the Tile Setters and Finishers Union of Northern California, was indicted in the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento on one count of grand theft from the Sacramento union of a sum of more than $950 and one count of embezzlement. The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

AFGE Local President in Washington, D.C. Indicted

On June 27, Audonus Duplessis, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2463, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on one count of interstate transportation of stolen property for his role in moving $11,300 worth of stolen currency from the District of Columbia to Virginia. The Washington, D.C.-based union represents various employees of the Smithsonian Institution. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Account Executives in Long Island Plead Guilty to Coverup

As a Certified Fraud Examiner, Salvatore Armao knew he was in no position to do anything but plead guilty. That’s why he did just that. Last Thursday, August 2, Armao, founder and managing partner of a Long Island, N.Y.-based accounting firm, Armao LLP, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to falsifying financial records filed with the Department of Labor to conceal a scheme by an unnamed labor union president to embezzle more than $100,000 over a number of years from a related benefit plan. Armao and a principal officer of his firm, Karen Auer, had been charged on June 1 with aiding and abetting the thefts. Auer, to no surprise, pleaded guilty on August 3. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, and the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

According to prosecutors, the unnamed president of … Read More ➡

Missouri Voters Reject Right to Work Law; Union Bosses Celebrate

In the annals of American labor relations, history sometimes reverses course. That certainly was true yesterday in Missouri. By a 2-to-1 margin, voters overturned a law passed and signed early last year to protect private-sector workers under union contract from being forced to pay dues in order to keep their jobs. The referendum, known as Proposition A, had been placed on the ballot via petition. Union leaders now are serving notice that the Missouri vote is the beginning of nationwide campaign to repeal similar “Right to Work” laws in 27 other states. “The defeat of this poisonous anti-worker legislation is a victory for all workers across the country,” crowed AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. His declaration seems a case of myopia.

Union Corruption Update described this tug of war in the Show Me state early in February 2017. The Right to Work movement at the time was on the upswing. In … Read More ➡