New York City Painters Contractor Sentenced for $400K Fraud

Given what he took, Francis Mazzella is lucky he’s not headed for prison. On June 7, Mazzella, a contractor with a collective bargaining agreement with Metal Polishers Local 8A-28A, an affiliate of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to three years of probation and ordered to pay full restitution for defrauding the Queens-based union of more than $400,000 in scheduled benefits. He had pleaded guilty back in February 2012 to one count each of wire fraud and mail fraud. The actions follow a joint investigation by the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Metal Polishers Local 8A-28A, with roughly 1,400 members, had been beset with corruption for years. Former President Hector Lopez had been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and tax … Read More ➡

Washington, D.C. Iron Workers Business Manager Sentenced

On June 7, Juan Carlos Recinos, former business manager and secretary-treasurer for International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 201, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service for defrauding seven union members out of a combined $26,900. He had pleaded guilty in February after being indicted in March 2016. Recinos and the defrauded employees worked at the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, D.C. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Letter Carriers Local Treasurer in Michigan Charged

On June 2, Brenda Schaefer, former treasurer of National Rural Letter Carriers Association Local 39, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in a one-count information with willful failure to maintain records of the Chesterfield Township (Macomb County) union. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Officer of Amtrak Fraternal Order of Police Local Charged with Fraud

On May 25, Rocky Defilippo, an Amtrak police officer and a member of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 189, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with one count each of conspiring to commit wire fraud and making a false financial statement in connection with his submission of a fraudulent letter to his employer, Amtrak. The letter had claimed prior police service for the purpose of collecting back pay and a salary increase totaling more than $45,000. The union is based in Metuchen, N.J. The charges follow a joint probe by Amtrak and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

 … Read More ➡

Montana Local Teachers Union Treasurer Charged with Theft

On May 26, Mackenzie Dworshak, former treasurer of Montana Teachers Local 6105, an affiliate of both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, was charged in an information count in Lewis and Clark County, Montana District Court with embezzling $5,461 from the Helena-based union. The charge follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Helena Police Department.… Read More ➡

Maintenance of Way Secretary in Colorado Charged

On May 22, Leo Ulibarri, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Local Lodge 204, a Teamsters affiliate, was charged in an information count in Las Animas County, Colorado District Court with theft in an unspecified amount from the Pueblo union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Ex-UAW Local President in Indiana Sentenced for Thefts

Given what he took, it could have been a lot worse for Michael Bennett. Last Friday, June 16, Bennett, former president of United Auto Workers Local 2317, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to 15 months in prison and a year of supervised probation for stealing more than $100,000 from the Lafayette-based union. He had been indicted last August on three counts of embezzlement and three counts of wire fraud, and pleaded guilty in December. The union represents over 700 employees at the Oerlikon Fairfield plant in Lafayette, a maker of engineered gear and drive products. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to court documents, Bennett, who headed the union during 2006-15, diverted more than $100,000 in funds from the union over a five-year period. He made out 170 checks to himself, forging the signature … Read More ➡

IATSE Treasurer in Alaska Charged with Stealing Nearly $200,000

For several years, Alaska was a favorite location for movie and TV productions. A stagehand union official used the opportunity to produce some illegal revenue for herself. On June 9, Ann Reddig, former secretary-treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 918, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska with embezzlement and forgery in connection her theft of roughly $193,000 over a more than four-year period from the Anchorage union. Local business agent Eric Lizer noted afterward: “That dollar amount is like five, six years of our entire income.” A court hearing is scheduled for June 26. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

With an abundance of spectacular natural scenery, Alaska provides a multitude of opportunities for on-location movie and television shoots. Back in 2008, lawmakers were enthusiastic enough about such possibilities to establish a tax … Read More ➡

Nurses’ Union Leads Push for Health Care Socialism in California

There are few things quite as expensive in this world as “free health care.” And the nation’s most populous state may be about to find out the hard way. On June 1, the California Senate voted 23-14 in favor of a bill, the Healthy California Act (SB 562), to authorize the state to act as a “single payer” in place of insurance carriers in negotiating prices with doctors, clinics, hospitals and other service providers. The measure covers all residents regardless of financial ability or immigration status. Annual costs may reach $400 billion – and that’s just for starters. As existing Medicare and Medicare funds will pay for around half that, new business taxes are the most likely candidate to cover the rest. It’s fitting that this prescription for economic disaster and population replacement is being driven by a union, the California Nurses Association.

National Legal and Policy Center has … Read More ➡

Secretary of Chicago-Area Independent Union Indicted for Fraud, Theft

On May 25, John Matassa Jr., secretary-treasurer of Independent Union of Amalgamated Workers Local 711 in Mount Prospect, Ill., was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on two counts of wire fraud, two counts of theft of Old Age Insurance benefits in the amount of $3,291, four counts of embezzling union funds in the amount of $2,959, and two counts of making false entries in financial records. The charges follow a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

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