For someone who ripped off more than a quarter-million dollars, Thomas Pokrywczynski could have had things worse. On August 5, the former secretary-treasurer of Local 1342 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and treasurer of the ATU’s New York State Legislative Conference Board was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to two years in prison and three years supervised release for embezzling a combined $254,000 from the two labor organizations. He had pleaded guilty in February of this year after being indicted in August 2009 for theft of $277,548.72.
Federal prosecutors had charged Pokrywczynski, a resident of the Buffalo suburb of Lancaster, with stealing $71,000 from the West Seneca, N.Y. local and $283,000 from the ATU state conference board during January 2002-March 2008. He was removed from his posts following an internal audit. The president of the local, which represents employees of Niagara Frontier Transit Authority, subsequently reported the cash shortfalls to the Labor Department, which conducted its own audit, concluding Pokrywczynski indeed had taken the money. In addition to serving his sentence, he also will have to pay $215,527.74 in restitution.