NYC Corrections Union Boss, Hedge Fund Manager Busted for Fraud

It wasn’t as if Norman Seabrook needed the money. But in accepting it, he jeopardized the retirement of union members. Last Wednesday, June 8, Seabrook, president of New York City’s Correction Officers Benevolent Association (COBA), was arrested by FBI agents and charged with honest services fraud for receiving $60,000 in cash from an executive of a troubled Manhattan hedge fund, Platinum Partners, in exchange for steering $20 million in union pension money to the fund. Platinum Partners CEO Murray Huberfeld was similarly charged. Seabrook is out on $250,000 bond, but given his ouster by the COBA board, he doesn’t have much to do.  U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (in photo) termed this “a straightforward and explicit bribery scheme.” The actions are part of a wider probe into NYPD corruption.

The Correction Officers Benevolent Association, with more than 9,000 members, is the largest union of its type in the country. And most … Read More ➡

Illinois Machinists Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Theft

machinists-logo_0Raul Mascote is a good example of the expression, “There’s a lot more where that came from.”  On April 14, Mascote, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 2458, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of embezzling funds in the amount of $62,263 from the Minooka (near Joliet)-based union.  He had been charged last July following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General.  Prosecutors had alleged Mascote knowingly had converted $510,973 worth of U.S.-government property to his personal use.  This latter sum was not reflected in the original charge.  However, pursuant to federal guidelines, it will be considered in determining his sentence.… Read More ➡

Painters Union Business Agent in Hawaii Sentenced

painters-union-logoFor 17 years, Raymond Fujii routed client money to his own pockets.  But the deception couldn’t be maintained forever.  On May 13, Fujii, formerly executive director for the Painting & Decorating Contractors Association of Hawaii, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to 42 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conducting an elaborate fraud scheme against the association and a related Painters union entity, the Hawaii Painters Trade Promotion & Charity Fund, that totaled nearly $1.5 million.  He also had been charged with federal income tax evasion.  Fujii had pleaded guilty on January 27, one week after being charged.  The actions follow a joint probe by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Raymond Fujii, now 68, a resident of Kailua, Hawaii, performed services for both management and labor.  On one hand, he was executive … Read More ➡

Florida Teamsters President Pleads Guilty to Records Fraud

Teamsters logoOn April 6, Robert Tuttle Jr., former president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 173, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida to making false entries in financial records of the Bradenton-based union for the purpose of concealing his embezzlement of about $11,275.  He had been indicted last December on four counts of embezzlement totaling $4,857 and one count of false record-keeping.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Steelworkers President in West Virginia Sentenced for Theft

steelworkers-logoOn April 6, James Coffey, former president of United Steelworkers Local 5-887, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Newell, W.Va.-based union in the amount of $6,260.  He already paid $7,419 in restitution prior to sentencing.  Coffey had pleaded guilty in January after being indicted last October for embezzling $7,098.  The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

UMW Secretary in Pennsylvania Indicted for Embezzlement

Mine Workers logoOn April 5, Daniel Ternitsky, former financial secretary of United Mine Workers Local 285, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on one count of embezzling $10,680 in funds from the Allison, Pa.-based union.  The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Steelworkers President, Secretary in Oklahoma Charged

steelworkers-logoAt United Steelworkers Local 13-669, theft apparently is a family affair.  On April 5, Jason Leach and Jeremy Leach, respectively, president and secretary-treasurer of the Pryor Creek (northeast of Tulsa), Okla. union, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma for acts of theft.  Jason Leach, 32, a resident of Locust Grove, was charged with nine counts of embezzling $2,524; his brother, Jeremy Leach, 35, also a resident of Locust Grove, was charged with 12 counts of embezzling $3,111.  The indictments follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

South Dakota Postal Workers Treasurer Sentenced for Theft

postal-workers-logoOn April 11, Susan Haugen, former treasurer of the South Dakota chapter of the American Postal Workers of America, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment for embezzling $30,782 in funds from the Huron, S.D. association.  She had pleaded guilty this February after being indicted on three counts in November 2014 for theft of more than $36,000.  Haugen previously paid restitution in the amount of $38,234.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

CWA Secretary-Treasurer in Oregon Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

Communications Workers logoOn April 4, Bonita Scherling, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 7970, pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Oregon, County of Hood River, to one count of forgery and one count of identity theft from the Hood River-based union.  She then was sentenced to five years of probation and 120 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay $19,386 in restitution and a $500 fine.  Scherling had been indicted last October on one count each of theft and forgery, and two counts of identity theft.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Southern California Machinists Treasurer Charged; Pleads Guilty

machinists-logo_0On March 30, Oscar Luevano, former financial secretary-treasurer of Transportation Communications Union (TCU) Local Lodge 5050, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to embezzling $132,939 in funds from the Covina (Los Angeles County)-based union.  He had been charged five days earlier.  TCU is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists.  The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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