Union Corruption Update

Since 1997, NLPC has become a high-profile and credible source for information about America’s labor unions through our publication Union Corruption Update.

The newsletter has been referenced in many other media outlets including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and National Journal.

Steelworkers President in West Virginia Sentenced for Theft

Steelworkers logoOn April 6, James Coffey, former president of United Steelworkers Local 5-887, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Newell, W.Va.-based union in the amount of $6,260.  He already paid $7,419 in restitution prior to sentencing.  Coffey had pleaded guilty in January after being indicted last October for embezzling $7,098.  The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

UMW Secretary in Pennsylvania Indicted for Embezzlement

Mine Workers logoOn April 5, Daniel Ternitsky, former financial secretary of United Mine Workers Local 285, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on one count of embezzling $10,680 in funds from the Allison, Pa.-based union.  The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers President, Secretary in Oklahoma Charged

Steelworkers logoAt United Steelworkers Local 13-669, theft apparently is a family affair.  On April 5, Jason Leach and Jeremy Leach, respectively, president and secretary-treasurer of the Pryor Creek (northeast of Tulsa), Okla. union, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma for acts of theft.  Jason Leach, 32, a resident of Locust Grove, was charged with nine counts of embezzling $2,524; his brother, Jeremy Leach, 35, also a resident of Locust Grove, was charged with 12 counts of embezzling $3,111.  The indictments follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

South Dakota Postal Workers Treasurer Sentenced for Theft

APWU logoOn April 11, Susan Haugen, former treasurer of the South Dakota chapter of the American Postal Workers of America, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment for embezzling $30,782 in funds from the Huron, S.D. association.  She had pleaded guilty this February after being indicted on three counts in November 2014 for theft of more than $36,000.  Haugen previously paid restitution in the amount of $38,234.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

CWA Secretary-Treasurer in Oregon Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

Communications Workers logoOn April 4, Bonita Scherling, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 7970, pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Oregon, County of Hood River, to one count of forgery and one count of identity theft from the Hood River-based union.  She then was sentenced to five years of probation and 120 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay $19,386 in restitution and a $500 fine.  Scherling had been indicted last October on one count each of theft and forgery, and two counts of identity theft.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Southern California Machinists Treasurer Charged; Pleads Guilty

Machinists logoOn March 30, Oscar Luevano, former financial secretary-treasurer of Transportation Communications Union (TCU) Local Lodge 5050, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to embezzling $132,939 in funds from the Covina (Los Angeles County)-based union.  He had been charged five days earlier.  TCU is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists.  The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Texas Letter Carriers President Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

Letter Carriers logoOn March 28, Stanley Buchanan, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 493, pleaded guilty in Smith County (Tex.) Court to unauthorized use of a credit card issued by the Tyler-based union.  He then was sentenced to deferred adjudication, placed in community supervision for three years, and ordered to pay $6,406 in restitution and $348 in court costs.  Smith had been charged last December with credit card fraud in the amount of $7,776.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

UAW President in Central Illinois Indicted for Theft

Auto Workers logoOn March 22, Bob Buford, former president of United Auto Workers Local 2419, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois on one count of mail fraud related to his embezzlement of $28,697 from the savings account of the Danville, Ill.-based union back in 2010.  He also was indicted for concealing the thefts in union financial records.  The charges follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Secretary in Louisiana Charged; Pleads Guilty

Steelworkers logoOn April 26, Todd Culley, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 103, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana to one count of embezzlement in an unspecified sum from the St. Francisville-based union.  He had been charged on April 12.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Kansas AFGE Local Treasurer Sentenced for Fraud

AFGE logoOn May 4, Shelly Sutton, former treasurer for American Federation of Government Employees Local 477, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to three months in prison and three months of supervised release for one count of bank fraud.  She also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $78,778.  Sutton had pleaded guilty in February to stealing $93,094 from the Wichita-based union, which represents employees at the local VA hospital, after being indicted last November.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Treasury Rejects Teamster Pension Compromise; Losses Mount

The word “troubled” doesn’t even begin to describe the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund.  “Desperate” is more like it.  Last Friday, May 6, the Treasury Department announced that it had rejected a restructuring proposal submitted by plan trustees last September to avert collapse.  The proposal, which would have cut benefits on average by 22 percent for about two-thirds of all participants, did not go over well with Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa and other union officials.  Yet they are cornered by reality.  As of last fall, liabilities exceeded assets by $17.5 billion, a gap widening by $2 billion a year.  The plan is projected to go bankrupt in 10 years.  A federal bailout likely would make things worse.  Central States Executive Director Thomas Nyhan is reviewing alternatives.

Boston Teamster Sentenced for Role in Shakedown Racket

Teamsters logoFor Jimmy Deamicis, union organizing was a license to extort and defraud.  Now he’s found out the wages of his misguided thinking.  On March 23, Deamicis, a former member of now-defunct International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82, was sentenced in Boston federal court to a year and a day in confinement and another year of probation for his participation in a racket in which union members forced cash and other tribute from businesses, especially exhibitors at Boston-area trade shows.  He had been convicted by a jury in November on three counts of extortion; later in the month he pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud and one count of theft of government funds.  He also was ordered to pay $42,091 in restitution and a $700 assessment.  The actions follow a Labor Department probe.

Amalgamated Transit Union Treasurer in Dallas Charged; Pleads Guilty

ATU logoOn March 30, Johnny Wilson, former financial secretary-treasurer for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas with one count of embezzling $120,352 in funds from the Dallas-based union.  He then pleaded guilty.  The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

New York AFGE President Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

AFGE logoA deceased fellow union member was William Davis’ ticket to the good life.  It now might be his ticket to prison.  On April 6, Davis, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1119, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to one count of wire fraud in connection with his theft of funds from the Montrose (Westchester County), N.Y. union.  The local represents employees of the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System’s FDR Campus.  He had been indicted last October for wire fraud and making false statements in union financial records following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Office of Inspector General.

Local UTU Secretary-Treasurer in Mississippi Pleads Guilty

SMART logoOn March 29, James Adams, former secretary-treasurer of United Transportation Union Local 427, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi to one count of making false statements in financial records of the Byram, Miss.-based local.  Adams had been indicted last October for embezzling $45,043 in union funds as well as records fraud.  The national union is now known as the Transportation Division of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART).  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Chicago Transport Workers Local President Pleads Guilty

TWU logoOn March 24, Simiel Campbell, former president of Transport Workers Union Local 2014, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of making a false statement in a union financial statement.  He had been charged in a superseding indictment this March after his original indictment in December 2013 for embezzling $19,433 in funds from the Chicago union.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Cleveland-Area Utility Workers Vice President Indicted for Theft

Utility Workers logoOn March 17, Arthur Boedecker Jr., former vice president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 270, was indicted in the Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, for unauthorized lost time payments from the Brooklyn Heights union in the amount of $40,203.  The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

South Carolina Postal Workers Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty

APWU logoConsidering what she had been accused of stealing, Sharon Holmes should consider herself lucky.  On March 15, Holmes, former secretary-treasurer of American Postal Workers Union Local 807, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to one count of embezzling $41,823.  She had been indicted last September not only for embezzlement in this amount, but also for 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.

California Dentist Pleads Guilty to Scamming Teamster Benefit Plan

dollarsDavid M. Lewis for a while seemed as resourceful in his billing as he was in his drilling.  But in the end, the Sacramento dentist was too clever by a half.  On January 11, Lewis pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to defrauding a Teamster-sponsored health care plan for United Parcel Service employees out of at least $1 million in unnecessary or nonexistent work.  He had been indicted on 18 counts in February 2014 following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration, plus the California Attorney General’s Office and Dental Board.  A former Lewis employee, Nichol (Ramirez) Lomack, earlier had pled guilty.

Michigan Letter Carriers Treasurer Sentenced for Theft

Letter Carriers logoOn March 14, Timothy Casperson, former treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 249, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to one year of probation for embezzling $9,650 in funds from the Menominee (Upper Peninsula) union.  He also was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service, and to pay a $500 fine and a $100 special assessment.  Casperson already has paid restitution in the amount of $10,062.  Casperson pleaded guilty last December following his indictment last June.  The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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