Former St. Louis-Area Machinists Benefit Manager Sentenced

In the case of Harry Keil, there was more than met the eye. Keil, formerly the pension, health and welfare fund manager for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 9, had been indicted this January on two counts of embezzling about $54,000 from a pair of union benefit plans. But his true take, as he had admitted at his plea hearing, was much higher. Keil was sentenced on Thursday, October 29 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to 27 months in prison and was ordered to make restitution of about $341,000 to the insurance fund covering the Bridgeton, Mo.-based labor organization’s losses.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Keil, 51, a resident of St. Charles, Mo. who had been hired in 2006, during August 2006-August 2008 created phony invoices to divert union benefit funds to his own personal use. His lawyer, Adam Fein, argued unsuccessfully before the court that his client should get a lightened sentence because of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Keil, he noted, had engaged in “compulsive buying and bidding” on online shopping sites such as eBay, Proxibid and GunBroker.com. Keil had pleaded guilty in May to separate counts of embezzlement and mail fraud in the combined amount of $341,000.