For about six years, Helen Herold-Roden had mastered the art of stealing from her union. But it’s hard to beat the law of averages. Last Thursday, June 18, Herold-Roden, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 7603, pleaded guilty (pre-indictment) in U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho to one count of embezzling $138,658 in funds from the Meridian, Idaho-based union, which represents employees of area telecom companies such as AT&T and Century Link. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Sentencing is scheduled for September 8.
Herold-Roden, 49, a resident of Boise, had served in her union position from 2002 until July 2014. Starting in 2008, say federal prosecutors, she diverted union funds to pay for personal expenses. On about 28 occasions she wrote duplicate checks to herself. Moreover, on about 740 occasions, she used her ATM/debit card to make cash withdrawals, VISA debit card payments, and wire transfers. “This defendant occupied a position of trust for workers in the telecommunications industry,” said U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson. “When individuals betray that trust for their own personal gain, this office will work closely with its law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute.”