Laura Ann Brown’s ruse ended last fall. Now she’ll have five years to think about it. Brown, formerly president of American Federation of Teachers Local 5095 in Butte, Montana, was sentenced on March 11 in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana to five years probation for embezzling $7,731.54 in union funds. She had been charged last September and pleaded guilty in November. She also will have to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment.
Brown, 42, a resident of Butte, was an employee at Acadia, a facility in Butte for troubled youth. Prosecutors had charged that over a four-year period, from December 2004 until December 2008, Brown illegally converted union funds via electronic transfers, checks and cash withdrawals to her own personal use. A 2006 audit by the state parent union, the Montana Education Association-Montana Federation of Teachers, concluded there was a shortfall of forwarded dues. Following its own audit, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards concluded a year ago that Brown was the culprit.