Eric Givens’ job was to keep order on the nation’s passenger railroad. Unfortunately, he thought it also included stealing union money. On June 24, Givens, former secretary-treasurer of Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 189 and the Amtrak Police Labor Committee, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to one count of embezzling at least $100,000 from the New York-based labor organizations. Givens, an Amtrak police officer, had been arrested and charged last June with one count each of wire fraud, embezzlement and making a false statement, and indicted three weeks later. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the Amtrak Police Office of Internal Affairs.
According to prosecutors, Givens, 52, a resident of East Stroudsburg, Pa. and an Amtrak cop since 1997, began to steal union funds around 2008. He allegedly made unauthorized debit card charges and cash withdrawals from the FOP Labor Committee and Lodge, and then concealed these transactions in financial records. The funds went for food, travel, entertainment and other personal expenses. An internal audit concluded at least $100,000 was missing. This finding of facts led to a union request for a Labor Department probe. Givens faces a prison term of up to five years at his September 24 sentencing.