Postal Workers Secretary in South Carolina Sentenced for Thefts

On March 22, Sharon Holmes, former secretary-treasurer of American Postal Workers Union Local 807, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to one day in prison and 18 months of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Columbia, S.C. union. She also was ordered to pay $101,987 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Holmes had pleaded guilty in March 2016 to one count of embezzling $41,823 after being indicted the previous September for embezzlement in that amount plus wire fraud in the sum of $178,330. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Toymakers Secretary-Treasurer in NYC Sentenced for Role in Benefit Scheme

Johnnie Miranti wanted an opportunity to get back into action managing his union. A court said “no such luck.” On March 23, Miranti, former secretary-treasurer of Allied Novelty and Production Workers Local 223, a toymakers union, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to eight months of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to solicit and receive $138,500 worth of benefit kickbacks. He had pleaded guilty last August after being indicted in July 2015 along with his father, Rocco Miranti, and Louis Smith, former president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 810. Smith had been sentenced in January after pleading guilty last August to skimming more than $150,000 from the Local 810 health plan. Each union is based in New York City.

The Local 223 health plan, for its part, was not in the best of shape. By … Read More ➡

Kansas City, Mo.-Area Painters Union Secretary Pleads Guilty to Concealing Theft

On March 21, Monique Tyson, former office secretary for International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 3, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to one count of falsifying union records of the Raytown, Mo.-based labor federation to hide her embezzlement of funds in an amount of between $7,500 and $20,864. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Southern California Independent Union Officer Pleads Guilty to Theft

Danae Romero might not be the only culpable member of her family, but she appears to be the first to admit as much. On March 9, Romero, former vice president of the Union of Industrial and Service Workers of America Local 101, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of theft in connection with the disappearance of benefit funds from the Colton (San Bernardino County), Calif.-based independent union. She, her brother and their parents had been indicted a little over two years ago for looting a combined roughly $900,000 in funds from the union, which represents a variety of workers in Southern California’s Inland Empire region. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Union Corruption Update covered this case when it first broke. Back in January … Read More ➡

Dairy Workers President in Iowa Indicted for Embezzlement

On March 22, Curtis Dean Lang, former president of United Dairy Workers of Le Mars, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on one count of embezzling $45,040 in funds from the Le Mars (near Sioux City) union, which represents employees of Wells Enterprises. Lang pleaded not guilty the next day at his arraignment, and was released on bond. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Rhode Island Police Union President Charged with Fraud

It’s an all-too-familiar story: A cop enforces the law, but breaks it on the side by dipping into his union’s till. Last Friday, March 24, Christopher Hayes, a former sergeant with the Newport, R.I. police department, was charged in Providence federal court with wire fraud in the sum of more than $70,000 against Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge No. 8, where he had served as president for several years. At his arraignment hearing, he initially pleaded “not guilty,” but quickly changed his plea to “guilty.” Hayes was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, assisted by the Rhode Island State Police.

According to court documents, Hayes, 49, a resident of Middletown, R.I., during August 2009-December 2014 used his union debit card to pay for personal expenses; wrote checks payable to … Read More ➡

Eleven Carpenters Regional Council Members in Midwest Sentenced

The Justice Department has finished its work – and with a perfect score. On October 26, the last of 11 members of locals represented by the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Daniel Rehfelt, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one count of theft from a union-sponsored health care plan. He then was sentenced to six months on probation and ordered to pay full restitution. This was the same sentence handed out to the other ten defendants. All had been charged last August. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Union Corruption Update covered this case several months ago. Federal prosecutors had alleged in separate information counts that eleven Carpenters union workers, all but one an Indiana resident, had fleeced the council health plan by … Read More ➡

Machinists Secretary in Pennsylvania Indicted for Embezzlement

On March 1, Stephen Royer, former secretary-treasurer for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 243, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on one count of embezzling $130,870 in funds from the East Prospect, Pa. (York County)-based union and four counts of filing false financial reports. The five-count indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

New Report Makes Case for NLRB Reform

For the last several years the National Labor Relations Board often has behaved as if it were the National Organized Labor Promotion Board. President Trump has a real opportunity to reverse the board’s many wrong turns by filling two current vacancies. A new monograph released a few weeks ago by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative, “Restoring Common Sense to Labor Law:  Ten Policies to Fix at the National Labor Relations Board,” can serve as a guide. The 43-page report summarizes the ways in which the NLRB during the Obama era stretched the boundaries of labor law, often to bizarre lengths, to accommodate union leaders. Rather than balance the interests of employers and workers, the board issued a series of rulings that overturned longstanding and reasonable precedent.

The National Labor Relations Board, created under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA), is a federal agency … Read More ➡

Laborers Secretary-Treasurer in California Charged with Theft

On March 3, Edward Padilla, former secretary-treasurer and business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 220, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California with one count of embezzlement in the amount of $168,780 from the Bakersfield union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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