Ex-Union Secy. Escapes Jail Time in Ore. Fed. Court

A former carpenters’ union secretary from Lebanon is facing fines, probation and mandatory community service after pleading guilty to stealing from her local chapter.  Joy Torrance has pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland to a single count of embezzlement of labor union assets, a federal offense.  She has been ordered to pay back $31,640 to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.


“Quite a few members are not happy with the outcome,” said Tom Dunford, who has acted as assistant supervisor of the local since last February, when the union’s international leadership took control of the Corvallis office after the reports of missing funds surfaced.  “A lot of members felt if she had done six months, then got probation and restitution, that would’ve been fair,” Dunford added. [Corvallis Gazette-Times, 2/9/05]Read More ➡

Frmr. Iowa Secy.-Treasurer Charged with Embezzlement

A Dubuque postal union official has been charged with embezzlement and theft of labor union assets.  Debra Herrig, 47, was charged Feb. 7 in the U.S. Dist. Court in Cedar Rapids.  The U.S. attorney’s office said Herrig allegedly stole money and other assets from the American Postal Workers Union Local 2339 from about October 1996 until about August 2002. Herrig served as secretary-treasurer for the group.  If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.  No court date was set.  The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor. [Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, 2/9/05]


Ex-Bookkeeper Sentenced in Okla. Fed. Court

On January 27, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Debbie Samples, former bookkeeper of Local 809, Plasterers and Cement Masons, was sentenced to serve five months in Read More ➡

RI Laborers Offices Searched as part of Drug Smuggling Investigation

R.I. state and federal agents arrested a capo in the Patriarca crime family on Jan. 20 and also searched offices of the Laborers’ International Union in Providence, along with a Cranston concrete company that has employed the mobster as well as the son of a top state judge.  Matthew Guglielmetti Jr. is accused of agreeing to protect a major shipment of cocaine passing through RI en route to Canada.


Hours after the arrest of Matthew L. Guglielmetti Jr., the FBI and state police descended upon the offices of the New England Laborers in Providence and Capital City Concrete in Cranston.  The agents arrived shortly before noon at the Arthur E. Coia Building in Providence, a red-brick building that holds office space for various operations of the New England regional operations of the Laborers.  Inside, agents could be seen on the first floor, which Read More ➡

2 Buffalo-Area Goons Convicted of Extortion

Two members of Laborers Local 91 in Niagara Falls were convicted of attempted extortion on Jan. 21 after a trial in federal court.  A jury convicted Steven Markle and Anthony Cerrone of involvement in a punching and stomping attack on tile setters who were working at a Wegmans supermarket site in Niagara Falls on Sept. 16, 1998.


Four members of the tile setters union were attacked, including one who was knocked to the ground and “kicked like a football,” and two required hospital treatment, said federal prosecutors William J. Hochul Jr. and Brett Harvey.  As many as 20 laborers are alleged to have attacked the tile setters after a dispute over which union had the right to sweep floors at the construction site.


Markle and Cerrone could face maximum prison terms of 20 years. No sentencing date was set. Both were taken into custody by Read More ➡

Ex- Ofc. Secy Admits Embezzlement in Iowa Federal Court

The ex-office secy. for Local 3 of the Bricklayers Intl. Union pled guilty on Dec. 23 to embezzling over $200,000.  Amanda Kemmer entered her plea in the U.S. Dist. Court for the Sou. Dist. of IA.  She was employed as Local 3’s ofc. secy. from June 1997 through April 2004.  Kemmer had full responsibility for maintaining the local’s financial records including check stubs, disbursement and receipt ledgers, monthly financial reports and payroll records. She was also responsible for collecting dues and other receipts, issuing duplicate receipts, and making deposits.


According to the plea agreement, Kemmer falsified her pay stub, which remained attached to her paycheck when signed by the local’s officers. She did so by failing to include her hourly rate on the stubs, and falsified the amount of withholding to hide her unauthorized increase in salary.  By these means, Kemmer stole $17,885.  After Read More ➡

Frmr. NYC Union Boss Admits Stealing Funds to Buy Gifts for Castro

A former exec. of the agency that collects royalties for the American Federation of Musicians admitted on Jan. 17 that he stole $200,000 to buy jewelry, a trip to Cuba and expensive champagne for Fidel Castro.  Enex Steele pled guilty in Manhattan‘s state Supreme Court to second-degree grand larceny, admitting that he stole money from the union fund into which recording companies pay royalties that are forwarded to recording artists.


Steele’s plea was part of a deal in which Justice Ronald A. Zweibel promised he will sentence him on March 4th to 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years in prison. Steele also forfeited $50,000 from the sale of his condo and signed a document stating he owes the royalty fund $150,000.


Steele was arrested in July 2004.  Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau said then that Steele stole the money by giving himself an unauthorized raise in Read More ➡

Union Racketeer Sentenced in NY Fed. Court

Amid little fanfare, one of New York‘s most powerful labor racketeers was packed off to an upstate federal prison earlier in Jan. to begin a six-and-a-half-year sentence for bribery and conspiracy, reports Tom Robbins of the Village Voice.  Louis Moscatiello pled guilty to six counts of bribery and racketeering, including his participation in the Genovese crime family.


Prosecutors said that Moscatiello, 67, served as the mob’s point man in no less than three vital construction unions. He regulated who held top union posts, who got the best-paying jobs, and which contractors were allowed to cheat on wages and benefits, thus allowing them to win lucrative contracts by making artificially low bids.


Unions representing the city’s carpenters, operating engineers, and plasterers all followed Moscatiello’s instructions on those matters, law enforcement authorities asserted, making him one of the most influential, if unheralded, figures in the city’s multibillion-dollar Read More ➡

Frmr Pres. Admits Embezzlement in Del. Fed. Court

On January 20, in the U.S. District Court for Delaware, Gary Miller, former president of Local 2372, United Auto Workers, pled guilty to the embezzlement of union funds in excess of $5,000. Miller was indicted on October 12, 2004, following an investigation by the Philadelphia District Office of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 1/29/05]


Ex-Pres. Sentenced in Fla. Fed., Court

On January 19, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Glen Johnson, former president of Local 3140, CWA, was sentenced to 12 months probation and 150 hours of community service. Johnson was ordered to make restitution of $24,897.60, pay a fine of $5,000, and pay a special court assessment of $50. On November 9, 2004, Johnson entered a guilty plea to one count of failure to disclose a material fact in a report following an investigation by the Read More ➡

Top Hoffa Assistant Suspended

The Teamsters’ court-appointed Independent Review Board (IRB) announced on Jan. 12 that a top assistant to the Teamsters president, James P. Hoffa, will be suspended for 60 days and has repaid $69,500 after IRB investigators accused him of embezzlement.  Carlow Scalf, who is Hoffa’s chief of staff, signed a settlement with the oversight board after its investigators found that he was improperly taking a housing allowance.


When the IBT’s internal ethics watchdog, Edwin Stier, resigned last April, he accused Scalf of working behind the scenes to squelch Stier’s investigation of mob influence over the union’s Chicago affiliates.  The IRB was formed in 1989 after fed. prosecutors filed a nationwide racketeering lawsuit against the IBT.  Under the supervision of U.S. Dist. Judge Loretta Preska (S.D.N.Y., G.H.W. Bush), the IRB has wide powers to remove corrupt officials.


Under Teamsters regulations, Scalf, who was living in Michigan before Read More ➡

Feds Acting on Report of Teamster Corruption in Chicago

The FBI is investigating whether hundreds of thousands of dollars were siphoned from a Teamsters benefit plan that provides dental care to Chicago-area undertakers and valets, report Todd Lightly and Stephen Franklin of the Chicago Tribune.  The criminal investigation is the first indication that law enforcement authorities are acting on an internal Teamsters union report alleging that money may have been diverted from Local 727’s dental plan from 1993 to early 2000.  The 303-page report was prepared by investigators under the supervision of former internal ethics watchdog Edwin Stier, who resigned last April charging that Teamsters officials in Washington, DC, were stifling his investigation.


The investigators charged that 30 percent of all the money companies paid to provide dental and vision care for their unionized workers actually went for “grossly excessive” administrative costs and fees.  The report also raised concerns about payments from Read More ➡