For more than two years, Edward Padilla used his union for personal spending. He’s now likely to spend time in prison. On March 27, Padilla, former secretary-treasurer and business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 220, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to one count of embezzlement in the sum of $168,780 from the Bakersfield construction union. As part of his plea, Padilla agreed to make full restitution. He had been charged on March 3. Sentencing is set for July 10. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to prosecutors, Padilla, now 56, a resident of Bakersfield, during September 2012-December 2014 wrote unauthorized checks from a union account that were rubber-stamped with the president’s signature; used two union-issued credit cards to make more than 200 personal purchases; and obtained reimbursements for unauthorized sick … Read More ➡
On March 27, Casey Cortese, former president of Association of Civilian Technicians Chapter 108, was indicted in the Superior Court of Pierce County, Wash., on one count of theft of funds from the Lakewood (Tacoma area) union in an amount of more than $27,000. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Financial malpractice rarely goes out of season among a number of health care affiliates of the Service Employees International Union. On February 14, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry placed SEIU Healthcare Michigan under emergency trusteeship following allegations by an unnamed internal whistleblower that two of its top officials had abused the Detroit-based union’s loan and vacation policies. Henry removed union president Marge Robinson and replaced her with three trustees to manage day-to-day affairs. While no dollar figure on the missing funds is available, evidence suggests it is substantial. The union, as it was, had been bleeding membership after the enactment by the Michigan legislature of Right to Work legislation several years ago.
Marge Faville Robinson, a nurse by profession, had done well for herself heading SEIU Healthcare Michigan (HCMI). According to the annual financial data submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor, her union salary in 2015 was $209,889. Family … Read More ➡
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 ➡
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 ➡
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 ➡
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 ➡
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 ➡
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 ➡
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 ➡