On September 16, Aaron Contreras, former financial secretary of Communications Workers of America Local 84749, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in an information count with embezzlement in the amount of $42,700 from the Fostoria, Ohio-based union. He then pleaded guilty on October 11. According to prosecutors, Contreras during January 2-December 10, 2015 embezzled funds “for which he prepared a false financial report on or about November 30, 2015 to conceal the embezzlement, and, with ATM withdrawal fees, resulting in a total loss to the union of $43,293.25.” The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Fostoria Police Department.… Read More ➡
Hillary Clinton isn’t the only person these days accused of hiding emails to conceal crimes. In a 42-page letter dated October 31, court-approved investigator Joseph diGenova appealed to International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa (r) to take action against IBT General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall (l). According to diGenova, Hall hid over 17,000 email transmissions and other documents that could shed light on acts of embezzlement, bid-rigging and other acts of corruption. For over six months, Hall, aided by Hoffa’s legal team, allegedly stonewalled investigators. The IBT calls the charges “baseless.” But the accusations may delay the union’s ongoing exit from federal control established by a 1989 racketeering settlement. To complicate matters, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last Thursday filed suit against the union, citing “unprecedented and dangerous” activity.
James Hoffa has headed the Washington, D.C.-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters since 1999. The union, with a current estimated 1.4 … Read More ➡
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1707 represents corrections employees in Jackson County, Missouri. Its main problem right now appears to be finding a president who won’t wind up in jail himself. On September 16, Lowell Wreh, former president of the Kansas City, Mo.-based local, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to five years of probation and ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 assessment for defrauding the union out of $7,642. Wreh had pleaded guilty in January following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Wreh, 46, a resident of Raytown, Mo., in suburban Kansas City, became acting president of AFSCME Local 1707 in October 2012 after his predecessor, Jesse Morgan, had departed in the wake of an internal union probe. The audit had concluded that at least $185,000 in union funds was missing. … Read More ➡
On September 7, Jason Leach, former president of United Steelworkers Local 13-669, was ordered in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma to pay a $100 fine and a $25 special assessment for theft of funds from the Pryor Creek, Okla.-based union in the amount of $2,524. He had pleaded guilty in May after being charged in April. His brother, Jeremy Leach, former secretary-treasurer of the local, had been given the same punishment this August after pleading guilty in May in a superseding indictment for stealing $3,111. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On September 7, Arthur Boedecker Jr., former vice president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 270, was indicted in the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County for money laundering. The charge was in addition to one filed back in March for theft in the amount of $40,203 from the Brooklyn Heights (Cleveland area), Ohio union. Both charges follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On August 30, Michell Clifton, former office manager for International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 78, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to one count of embezzling $23,014 in funds from the Irondale (Birmingham area), Ala.-based union. She also agreed to pay full restitution. Clifton had been charged in June with one count of embezzlement, 17 counts of forgery and two counts of making false statements. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On September 15, Coralee Stotler, former employee of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 992, was charged in the Circuit Court for Washington County, Maryland with one count of theft in a sum between $1,000 and $10,000. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration.
On September 14, Benjamin Stancil, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 451, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to 120 days of home confinement and three years of probation for wire fraud against the Havelock (near New Bern), N.C.-based union. He also was ordered to pay $13,308 in restitution, a $2,500 fine and a $400 special assessment. Stancil had pleaded guilty in June to four-count information of wire fraud after being charged in February. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
For 10 years, Robert Smith III stole freely from his union. He now is realizing the meaning of the saying, “Nothing in life is free.” On Friday, October 14, Smith, former business agent and financial secretary of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 970, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of mail fraud in connection with his theft of more than $1 million from the Norfolk-based union. He had resigned his post in April following a joint investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General. He faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing this February.
Port of Virginia, located along Hampton Roads in the southeast coastal portion of the state, is home to four marine terminals – two in Portsmouth and one each in Norfolk and Newport News. The terminals and … Read More ➡
On September 7, John Bickerstaff, former business manager of International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 133, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota with one count of embezzling $70,659 in funds from the Bismarck union, plus one count each of filing a false financial report and willfully concealing records. The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.