For a while, Gary Cooper had a lucrative deal going with Laborers International Union of North America Local 657 – until his business partners were caught. On February 27, Cooper, principal owner of a Greenbelt, Md.-based building contractor, STS General Contracting, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to 68 months in prison for his role in embezzling more than $1.7 million in funds from the union, at the time based in Washington, D.C. He also was ordered to pay the union $1.632 million in restitution and forfeit $1.734 million in illegally-derived proceeds. Two other defendants, Anthony Frederick and Christopher Kwegan, were sentenced last month for their offenses. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI and the Labor Department.
According to prosecutors, Cooper, now 57, a resident of Kettering, Md., along with co-defendant area real estate agent and STS co-owner Christopher Kwegan, conspired with … Read More ➡
Teresa Adkins got greedy. And she likely will get a prison sentence for her trouble. On February 16, Adkins, former business manager of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 127, was charged in Waupaca County, Wisconsin Circuit Court with one count of theft and nine counts of forgery in the disappearance of more than $35,000 in funds from the Clintonville, Wisc.-based union, and possibly a lot more. The complaint read: “…(T)he defendant utilized her position and access to union funds to appropriate various amounts of money for her own purposes ranging from reimbursing herself for underperformed services and using a union charge card for personal purchases for both goods and services.” The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Adkins, now 46, a resident of Green Bay, served as business manager of International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 127 from … Read More ➡
On February 17, Adele Dewey, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 811, pleaded guilty in the Ashtabula County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas to one count of theft in the amount of $4,224 and one count of forgery against the Andover, Ohio-based union. She then was sentenced to 30 days of incarceration (suspended) and one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $250 fine and perform 40 hours of community service. Dewey already had paid full restitution. She had been charged last October. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On February 15, Devon Madray, former president of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 119, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to five years of probation, and ordered to pay $20,097 in restitution and a $100 special assessment, for embezzling funds from the Roseville, Mich. union. He had pleaded guilty last October after being indicted in July. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On February 14, Clementine Ray, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2109, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on one count of wire fraud in an unspecified sum from the Temple-based union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On February 8, Michael Mathis, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 34, was charged in the Franklin County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas with one count of theft in the amount of $5,784 from the Columbus-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Ken Hall is breathing easier. But his union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, isn’t quite out of the woods yet. On February 17, former federal prosecutor Joseph diGenova, the union’s special independent investigator, withdrew obstruction charges against Hall, the IBT’s general secretary-treasurer and number two man behind General President James P. Hoffa. In a letter to the union general counsel, diGenova wrote that Hall “did not play a personal role” in withholding over 32,000 documents, including emails, related to corruption probes. The Teamsters, which had finalized a settlement with the Justice Department in January 2015 to phase out over two decades of tight federal supervision, remains under scrutiny. That’s not good news for Northern California Teamster leader Rome Aloise.
Union Corruption Update examined this issue in detail last November. The Teamsters for many years had been trying to extricate themselves from the terms of a March 1989 civil … Read More ➡
Christopher Kwegan wasn’t a union man. But right now he no doubt is regretting his dealings with one union in particular. On February 8, Kwegan, a real estate closing agent and co-owner of a Greenbelt, Md. consulting firm, STS General Contracting, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to four years in prison, three years of probation and 120 hours of community service for his role in various schemes to divert at least $1.7 million in funds from the Washington, D.C.-based Laborers International Union of North America Local 657 to STS. He also was ordered to pay $1,632,000 in restitution, the identical sum required of convicted co-defendant Anthony Frederick, who headed the union. Former STS principal owner Gary Cooper also was convicted in the case. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI and the Labor Department.
According to prosecutors, Kwegan enabled Frederick and Cooper … Read More ➡
One could say Harold Gilberson caught a lucky break: He’s not going to prison. On February 7, Gilberson, former president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 127, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming to six months of home confinement and five years of probation for embezzling $179,052 in funds from the Casper-based union. He also was ordered to pay $158,953 in restitution plus a $100 special assessment. Gilberson had agreed to plead guilty last November following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. He subsequently pleaded guilty in early December.
According to prosecutors, Gilberson, 63, an employee at a power plant in Rock Springs, Wyo., during 2011-15 charged a large number of personal items on his union credit card and then falsified the transactions in union financial statements. A subsequent Department of Labor investigation yielded the conclusion that Gilberson had … Read More ➡
On January 30, Keith Christopherson, former business manager for International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 34, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to four months of incarceration, to be followed by two years of supervised release, for embezzling funds from the St. Paul-based union. He also was ordered to pay $67,714 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Christopherson had pleaded guilty in August to one count of embezzlement after being charged in an information in July with stealing the far lower figure of $2,081. Former local financial secretary Scot McNamara also was charged in July; he pleaded guilty in December to embezzling $8,871. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡