On August 19, Kenneth Vanderwyst, former vice president and then president of the Fairbanks chapter of the National Association of Postal Supervisors, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska with embezzling $9,541 from a union account from late 2012 through April 7, 2015. He also was charged with fraud in the amount of $5,535.55 over a one-year period via use of gift cards and an access device. The charges follow a Labor Department investigation and a grand jury indictment.
Vanderwyst, 54, a resident of Fairbanks, has problems besides an apparent impulse to steal. Back in December 2013, he had been issued a summons for an incident occurring three months earlier. According to court records, Vanderwyst, highly upset that another motorist had honked his horn at him (after Vanderwyst had cut him off in traffic), followed the other driver back to his home, and once having … Read More ➡
Betty Martin and Duane Rush saw their union as an open cash register. Now their case is closed. On June 5, Martin and Rush, respectively, the former president and vice president of the Transportation Aides of Buffalo, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to bank fraud. The pair had stolen a combined more than $120,000 in funds from the Buffalo-based labor organization, which represents school bus aides employed by the City of Buffalo. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General.
Martin, 54, and Rush, 44, each a resident of Buffalo, served at their union posts during 2006-13. During much of that time, say prosecutors, they also enriched themselves by embezzling member dues. Martin stole $61,746, and Rush stole $59,683, through unauthorized debit card usage, cash withdrawals and checks from the union bank … Read More ➡
On July 9, Raul Mascote, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 2458, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with one count of embezzling $62,263 in funds from the Minooka, Ill. (near Joliet) union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On August 12, Jesus Gonzales, president of American Postal Workers Union Local 300, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan with one count of embezzlement of $6,720 in funds from the Lansing-based union and one count of falsifying union records. The charges follow a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡
Heather Banhidy isn’t likely to pursue a career with her union any further. On August 12, Banhidy, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 120, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on one count of embezzlement of $13,906 in funds from the Cleveland-based union and one count of falsifying union records. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Prosecutors allege that Banhidy, 50, a resident of Olmsted Township, Ohio, during approximately December 2011 through September 2013, stole union funds by way of falsification, concealment, withholding and destruction of financial records. No information is available yet as to whether she will plead guilty.
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On August 11, Estella Collier, former office secretary for United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 200, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to embezzling $12,933 from the Columbus-based union by writing unauthorized checks for making personal purchases. She had been charged in an information count on July 28 following a joint probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡
The National Labor Relations Board has provided unions with a variety of favorable rulings during the Obama years, but perhaps none as dramatic as one last Thursday. On August 27, the NLRB, in a 3-2 vote, concluded that Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) of California Inc. qualifies as a “joint employer” alongside another firm, Leadpoint Business Services, with which it had contracted to handle labor operations at a Bay Area recycling plant. As such, both companies must negotiate with a Teamsters affiliate should the results of a representation vote last spring reveal a union victory. The ruling could force many large employers to the bargaining table over labor issues which they have little or no direct control, while sharply raising business costs for contractors, franchisees and temp agencies. And it isn’t just the Teamsters who are rejoicing.
Union Corruption Update analyzed this case at length in July 2014 in the context … Read More ➡
On August 10, Nathan McCallister, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 101, was sentenced in the Circuit Court of Summers County, West Virginia to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Hinton, W.Va. union. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,409. McCallister had pleaded guilty in June after being charged in March. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On July 28, Helen Genal, former financial secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers’ Fox Valley Area Community Action Program, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin with one count of embezzling $29,968 in funds from the Oshkosh-based labor organization and one count of making a materially false statement. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On July 27, Tiffany Randle, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 652, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan with forging checks from a union bank account, of an unspecified sum, for her personal use. Less than three weeks later, on August 14, she pleaded guilty. The union is based in Kalamazoo. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡