As a Certified Fraud Examiner, Salvatore Armao knew he was in no position to do anything but plead guilty. That’s why he did just that. Last Thursday, August 2, Armao, founder and managing partner of a Long Island, N.Y.-based accounting firm, Armao LLP, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to falsifying financial records filed with the Department of Labor to conceal a scheme by an unnamed labor union president to embezzle more than $100,000 over a number of years from a related benefit plan. Armao and a principal officer of his firm, Karen Auer, had been charged on June 1 with aiding and abetting the thefts. Auer, to no surprise, pleaded guilty on August 3. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, and the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
According to prosecutors, the unnamed president of … Read More ➡
In the annals of American labor relations, history sometimes reverses course. That certainly was true yesterday in Missouri. By a 2-to-1 margin, voters overturned a law passed and signed early last year to protect private-sector workers under union contract from being forced to pay dues in order to keep their jobs. The referendum, known as Proposition A, had been placed on the ballot via petition. Union leaders now are serving notice that the Missouri vote is the beginning of nationwide campaign to repeal similar “Right to Work” laws in 27 other states. “The defeat of this poisonous anti-worker legislation is a victory for all workers across the country,” crowed AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. His declaration seems a case of myopia.
Union Corruption Update described this tug of war in the Show Me state early in February 2017. The Right to Work movement at the time was on the upswing. In … Read More ➡
For more than a half-dozen years, Rose Marie Lyons stole dues to cover her gambling losses. Union members are wondering how nobody could have noticed. On February 13, Lyons, former president and secretary of the William Penn Education Support Personnel Association (WPESPA), surrendered to authorities in Delaware County, Pa., where she was charged in county district court with embezzling more than $200,000 in cash and checks from the Lansdowne union. Ms. Lyons, now retired, has been free in the ensuing six months on $100,000 bail. The union is affiliated with the Pennsylvania State Education Association, in turn an affiliate of the National Education Association. The action follows a probe by Lansdowne and Delaware County police. No updated information is available.
The WPESPA represents about 90 auxiliary employees of the William Penn School District, one of whom was an administrative assistant, Rose Marie Lyons. Now 52, Lyons, a resident of Wilmington, … Read More ➡
As if it wasn’t difficult enough keeping up with the guilty pleas in the ongoing United Auto Workers-Fiat Chrysler corruption scandal, another name now can be added to the list. On Monday, July 23, Nancy Adams Johnson, for a while the second-highest ranking official at the UAW, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in illegal payments from certain Chrysler executives in return for dropping certain contract demands. She also abused her union credit card. Ms. Johnson had been charged in March in a five-count indictment following a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to federal prosecutors, Nancy Johnson, now 57, a resident of Macomb, Mich., conspired with her union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) during collective bargaining sessions in 2015. Company … Read More ➡
Monica Morgan seemed to have married well. In the end, she regretted the experience. On July 13, Morgan, widow of the late United Auto Workers Vice President General Holifield, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to 18 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, for tax fraud in the amount of $190,747 related to a much larger scheme involving executives at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) who diverted an estimated $4.5 million from the company’s training center to certain union officials, including Holifield. She also was ordered to pay full restitution plus a $25,000 fine. Ms. Morgan had pleaded guilty in February following her indictment last July. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department.
According to court records, Monica Morgan, now 54, a resident of Harrison Township, Mich., operated two Detroit-based companies, Monica … Read More ➡
On July 18, Pamela Noble, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 6904, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to five years of probation for embezzling funds from the Little Rock union in the sum of $43,274.97. She also was ordered to make full restitution, of which $33,274.97 would be payable to the union and the remaining $10,000 would be payable to the union’s insurance company. Noble had pleaded guilty in February immediately after being charged. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Hopefully, Henry Clay Green is getting counseling while serving time. On July 17, Green, former secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 26, was sentenced in Boston federal court to six months in prison and one year of supervised release for embezzling more than $170,000 in funds from the Medford, Mass.-based union, which represents certain hospitality employees in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He had pleaded guilty last December after being charged in November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration. He faces a restitution and asset forfeiture hearing on September 26.
Henry Clay Green Sr., now 61, a resident of Boston, served as secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 26 during May 2011-July 2016. According to federal prosecutors, he also diverted funds from the local during much of that time, primarily to maintain his opioid addiction. Eventually, … Read More ➡
The National Education Association thinks Colin Kaepernick is an ideal role model. Many members, however, may take their loyalty elsewhere. And frankly, they should. On July 1, the NEA honored Kaepernick, along with several other persons and organizations, with a “Human and Civil Rights” award in recognition of the former pro-football star’s campaign “to fight racial oppression through education and social justice activism.” The born-again political revolutionary, who these last couple years has been peddling the idea that police are conducting a nationwide pogrom against innocent blacks, accepted the honor with predictable melodrama. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he said. “There are bodies in the streets.”
If not necessarily as a pro-football player, then as an activist, Colin Kaepernick has come of age. By initiating the now-common pregame kneel-down, fist-in-the-air ritual during the playing of … Read More ➡
Murray Huberfeld had something on his mind other than front row seats at New York Knicks home games. That’s why he’s headed for prison. On May 25, Huberfeld, founder and head of a now-defunct hedge fund, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud conspiracy in connection with his payment of a $60,000 bribe through an intermediary to Norman Seabrook, deposed longtime president of New York City’s Correction Officers Benevolent Association (COBA), which represents employees at the sprawling Rikers Island jail complex. In exchange for the bribe, Seabrook allegedly had steered $20 million in COBA pension funds to the hedge fund, known as Platinum Partners. Huberfeld is scheduled for sentencing on September 14. Seabrook is set to go on trial on July 30.
Union Corruption Update covered this story at length back in June 2016. Norman Seabrook, who ran the 9,000-member Correction Officers Benevolent Association for more than two … Read More ➡
As a school teacher, Kerrie Clarke may have done right by her students. But as a union officer, she did not do right by her fellow members. On April 27, Clarke, former treasurer of the Grafton Teachers Association (GTA), was charged in Westboro District Court with embezzling nearly $20,000 from the association, an affiliate of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, in turn an affiliate of the National Education Association. She already had resigned her position as a teacher at Millbury Street Elementary School in Grafton (Worcester County), Mass. last November. Clarke was released after entering a plea of not guilty.
According to court documents, Clarke, now 45, a resident of North Grafton, Mass., during January 2016-October 2017 used a GTA credit union account to make unauthorized withdrawals, purchases and credit card payments. She also allegedly deposited numerous union checks into a personal bank account. Clarke’s schemes began to unravel after the … Read More ➡