Vice President of CWA Local in Detroit Pleads Guilty

Communications Workers logoOn February 16, Karen McJimpson, former executive vice president of Communications Workers of America Local 4004, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of failure to maintain records of the Detroit-based union. She had been charged earlier that day in a superseding information count following an August indictment for embezzlement of about $19,000 in union funds. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Illinois Teamster President Pleads Guilty to Records Fraud

Teamsters logoWhen Teamsters headquarters replaces a corrupt official with a trustee, the action may take a long while, if ever, to result in a prosecution.  In the case of Jerry Conner, the wait is over.  On February 5, Conner, former president and business agent for International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 279, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to making false entries in financial records of the Decatur-based union.  The guilty plea follows a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Jerry Conner hasn’t run Local 279 in nearly three years.  On June 28, 2013, Teamster General President James P. Hoffa replaced him with a trustee following an investigation by the international union’s federal overseer, the Independent Review Board.  The IRB had concluded that Conner had breached his fiduciary duties to the local in various ways:  wrote … Read More ➡

Sanders Campaign Consultant Is Convicted Steelworkers Official

steelworkers-logoHis blinkered economic ideas aside, Senator Bernie Sanders at least seems to work within the law.  The same can’t be said for one of his presidential campaign outreach advisers, Charles “Chuck” Rocha.  Early last month, the webzine Politico reported that Rocha, former political director for the United Steelworkers and now head of a consulting firm called Solidarity Strategies, had been convicted in 2013 of stealing funds from the union.  Union Corruption Update has reported on this case.  Rocha’s company thus far has received over $200,000 in Sanders campaign disbursements.  The revelation suggests that despite the senator’s frequent denunciations of establishment corruption, his populist instincts are less than sound when it comes to hiring campaign help.

It’s difficult to imagine any presidential candidate, even in the Democratic Party, outflanking Bernie Sanders from the Left.  The second-term U.S. senator from Vermont, now 74, who previously had served eight terms in the House … Read More ➡

Laborers Local Business Manager in Arizona Sentenced

liuna logoOn February 4, Anne Susan, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1386, was sentenced in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court to three years of probation for theft, identity theft and forgery against the Phoenix-based union.  She also was ordered to pay $18,056 in restitution.  Susan had pleaded guilty in January after being charged in October.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Michigan Postal Workers President Charged with Embezzlement

On February 3, Lawrence Moyer, president of American Postal Workers Union Local 6723, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with one count of embezzling $2,599 in funds from the Troy (suburban Detroit) union.  The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Hawaii Painters Business Agent Pleads Guilty in $1.5M Theft

Honolulu skylineWhen it comes to embezzling union funds, third-party administrators can be as adept as union officials themselves.  And thefts can go undetected for years.  Just ask Painters union members in Hawaii.  On January 27, Raymond Fujii, former executive director for a trade group, the Painting & Decorating Contractors Association of Hawaii (PDCA), pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to one count of mail fraud in the amount of nearly $1.5 million against the PDCA and a related union-supported entity, the Hawaii Painters Trade Promotion & Charity Fund (TP&C).  Fujii also pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return.  He had been charged on January 20.  The actions follow an investigation by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Raymond Fujii is, or was, a Honolulu businessman.  His business was representing the Painting & Decorating Contractors Association of Hawaii, … Read More ➡

Postal Workers Official in Texas Charged with Records Fraud

postal-workers-logoOn January 27, Nereida Norris, clerk craft director of American Postal Workers Union Local 98, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas with making a false statement in financial records of the Fort Worth-based union.  The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

NLRB Sides with Unions in Targeting Employee Handbooks

NLRBOrientation is a challenging time at a workplace. New hires find themselves having to learn a lot in a short time. That’s why their employers provide them with handbooks explaining the rules and addressing potential questions about them. Unions, however, see these pamphlets as thinly-veiled attempts to suppress worker organizing rights. During the Obama years, they have had an unofficial partner in the National Labor Relations Board. A new monograph published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Theater of the Absurd: The NLRB Takes on the Employee Handbook,” should dispel any doubts that this alliance is real. The 43-page report, written by Chamber senior staffer Sean Redmond, documents how the ostensibly “neutral” five-member board now sides regularly with unions over handbook-related complaints that have little, if any, validity.

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA) protects the right of workers to engage in “concerted … Read More ➡

Ex-Treasurer of Laborers Local in Arizona Pleads Guilty

liuna logoOn January 22, Therlen Benally, former treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America Local 1386, pleaded guilty in Maricopa County (Phoenix) Superior Court to theft, identity theft and forgery after being charged in a 29-count indictment last October.  Anne Susan, former business manager of the Phoenix-based local, had pleaded guilty this January on similar charges after being indicted in October.  Local 1386 represents certain area health care employees.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Chicago-Area Doctor Sentenced for $3.7M+ Fraud; Union Health Plans Affected

Medical insurance fraud is one of America’s leading growth industries.  And doctors are prominent among those getting fat and rich.  Looking on the bright side, some of them also get caught and punished.  Last August 28, Dr. Robert Kolbusz, a Chicago-area dermatologist, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to seven years in prison and ordered to pay more than $3.7 million in restitution for falsely billing Medicare and private health insurers for phony skin cancer treatments.  Among fleeced entities were area union health plans.  A jury had convicted Kolbusz in October 2014 on three counts each of wire fraud and mail fraud following a seven-count indictment in the early fall of 2012.  The actions follow a probe by the FBI and the Inspector General’s Offices of the Labor and Health & Human Services Departments.

Robert Kolbusz, now in his late 50s, was a licensed … Read More ➡

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