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 ➡
On May 31, Clementine Ray, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2109, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to a superseding information count of making false entries in financial records of the Temple-based union. She had been charged with wire fraud in an unspecified sum in February following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On May 12, David Diaz, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 387, was sentenced in Suffolk County (Long Island), N.Y., 10th Judicial Circuit Court, to 280 hours of community service in lieu of 60 days in jail and three years of probation. He also was ordered to pay $17,149 in restitution. Diaz had pleaded guilty in March to petty larceny. The actions follow a joint investigation by the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡
On May 9, Stephanie DeBoer, former office manager and bookkeeper for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on one count of embezzling about $307,000 from the Edmore (Montcalm County), Mich.-based union. The local represents utility company workers throughout Michigan. She was released last month on a $100,000 unsecured bond after her initial court appearance. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
There’s nothing like an early morning roundup to serve as a reminder that Mafia control over labor unions isn’t quite history yet. And lately many people in the New York City area are breathing a bit more freely. On May 31, FBI agents and NYPD cops arrested 19 members and associates of the Lucchese crime family on federal charges for crimes including wire fraud, racketeering, drug trafficking and murder committed over a 17-year period. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, 15 of the defendants were taken into custody and the four others already were in custody on other charges. Two arrestees, underboss Steven Crea (in left photo) Sr. and consigliere Joseph DiNapoli, had been involved with construction union extortion and bid-rigging conspiracies.
The Lucchese (also spelled Luchese) crime syndicate is one of the five New York City-based “families” of La Cosa Nostra (i.e., the Mafia) that for decades … Read More ➡
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 282 isn’t the Mafia branch it was around 30 years ago. But it still offers opportunities for illicit gain. Prosecutors have taken notice. On March 15, Nicholas Farnsworth, front man for several New York City-area trucking companies, was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to three years of probation and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution for his part in a scheme to defraud local members of about $5 million in benefits. Another participant, Toni Thomson, had received a similar sentence on January 23. Farnsworth’s father owned a unionized firm called Greenwood 2; the other firms were nonunion. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the U.S. Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General and the New York City Business Integrity Commission.
Union Corruption Update described the details of this case five years ago. It was a classic ‘double-breasting’ … Read More ➡
“Micro-unionism” has been a fact of life of organized labor for nearly six years. Two Capitol Hill lawmakers, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. (in photo), and Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., believe that’s long enough. Last Thursday, the pair unveiled a bill, the Representation Fairness Restoration Act (S. 1217, H.R. 2629), that would end the practice of organizing individual sections of workers (rather than all workers) at a given employer or job site to ensure a favorable representation vote. The measure would restore the definition of a bargaining unit that had been overturned by the National Labor Relations Board in 2011. Unions are using the ruling to great advantage. Sen. Isakson, who has sponsored similar legislation in the past, asserts the measure will ensure a “fair and equitable application of labor laws in the United States.”
It’s a recurring story in the world of law enforcement: A police officer, sworn to uphold the law, uses his union office to break it. New York City has provided one of the latest examples. On May 3, Victor Davila, former president of the Hunts Point Police Benevolent Association, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with embezzling more than $35,000 from the union by making unauthorized debit card purchases and cash withdrawals. He also was arrested that day. The case follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
The Hunts Point Police Benevolent Association (HPPBA), an affiliate of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, represents law enforcement officers who patrol the Hunts Point area of the Bronx, New York City. During roughly March 2011-March 2014, Victor Davila, 50, a resident of the Bronx, headed the union. And according to federal prosecutors, … Read More ➡
To find the most flagrant cases of fraud against unions, health plans are among the first places to look. A trio of family members in north suburban Chicago has joined the parade of guilty third-party administrators. On Monday, April 24, a chiropractor, his brother and their father were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for their roles in a six-year scam that generated nearly $29 million in phony billings costing insurance carriers over $10.8 million. Union plans were among the victims. The main defendants, Dr. Vladimir Gordin Jr., Alexsander Gordin and Vladimir Gordin Sr., operators of a clinic in Wheeling, Ill., received prison sentences, respectively, of seven years, two years and two-and-a half years. They and two other persons had pleaded guilty following a multi-agency probe.
The Gordin Medical Center was a chiropractic clinic in Wheeling, a fast-growing community located along the northern edge of … Read More ➡
On March 24, Jay Roy, former secretary-treasurer of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 1245-Transportation Division, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $2,125 from the Atlanta-based union. He also agreed to make restitution in the much larger sum of $101,019. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡