Michael Evans and William Uggiano knew there was no way out. That’s why they have indicated their intent to plead guilty. On July 28, the pair, respectively, former vice president and former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1699, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania with conspiring to commit bank fraud in a sum of more than $50,000 from the union, which represents VA Hospital employees in Wilkes-Barre. Evans and Uggiano each were suspended from their union positions. The charges follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Office of Inspector General.
According to prosecutors, Michael Evans, 56, and William Uggiano, 60, each a resident of Wilkes-Barre, during 2013 and 2014 made unauthorized withdrawals of funds from the Local 1699 account at Vantage Trust First Credit Union for their own benefit. In early 2015, suspicious union officials reported the funding shortage to the Department of Labor and requested an audit. That led to a Justice Department prosecution. Facing up to 30 years in prison, the defendants have agreed to plead guilty. Union spokesman Tim Kauffman stated: “We are, as always, opposed to any individual that would cause harm to or commit an unlawful act in relation to a union or union activity.”