Sometimes union corruption cases merge in unexpected ways. That was the case in the sentencings of Salvatore Armao and Karen Auer, respectively, the managing partner and principal officer of a Long Island accounting firm. On February 26, Armao was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to two years of supervised release, including six months of home confinement, to making false statements related to aiding and abetting embezzlement by a union president. He also was ordered to pay $9,592 in restitution, $18,700 in asset forfeiture and a $3,000 fine. A little over a week later, on March 8, Auer was sentenced to one year of supervised release and ordered to pay $7,194 in restitution. Each had pleaded guilty last August following a joint probe by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Salvatore Armao, founder and managing partner of the Garden City (Long Island), … Read More ➡
There is something weirdly fitting about a labor official named Slaughter who represents slaughterhouse workers. But whether fate or coincidence, it is no longer. On February 25, Terry Slaughter, former secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1208, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to embezzling $62,315.38 from the union, which represents employees of the sprawling Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Tar Heel, N.C., about an hour and a half’s drive south of Raleigh. Slaughter had been charged in early January following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Evidence indicates that a far larger sum of missing funds is attributable to a former president.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1208 was born of trauma, in this case one of the most bitter labor disputes in recent U.S. history. The union in the early-90s launched a … Read More ➡
Mervin Hawk was an unlucky gambler. That’s why his time behind bars is a sure thing. On March 7, Hawk, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1640, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to 30 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling more than $330,000 in funds from the Detroit union over a more than two-year period. Hawk had pleaded guilty last November after being charged in a one-count information last April with stealing over $600,000. He also was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $362,623. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to court records, Hawk, now 59, a resident of Southfield, Mich., used his position to make frequent withdrawals from … Read More ➡
John Matassa Jr.’s biggest mistake was trying to qualify for an early retirement. He now is qualified for prison. On February 26, Matassa, former secretary-treasurer of Independent Union of Amalgamated Workers Local 711, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of embezzling $738 in union funds, far below what he actually had stolen from the union and the government. He had been indicted in May 2017 on 10 counts related to his creating a no-show union job for his wife and collecting Social Security benefits for himself. Matassa for decades has been a reputed “made man” in the Chicago mob. The plea deal calls for 15 to 21 months in prison, plus $66,500 in restitution. The actions follow a probe by the Social Security Administration and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
John “Pudgy” Matassa Jr., … Read More ➡
On February 25, Anthony Edmunds, former president of United Auto Workers Local 2419, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to three years of probation and one year of home confinement for embezzling $19,482 in funds from the Danville, Ill. union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 assessment. Edmunds had pleaded guilty last October after being indicted in December 2017. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
John Ulrich may have seen the arrangement as a business deal, but federal prosecutors see it as a crime. On February 21, Ulrich, formerly vice president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812, was indicted in Manhattan federal court with soliciting and receiving tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from an unnamed administrator for the health plan of the Great Neck (Long Island), N.Y.-based union in return for retaining that company as a client. Ulrich, who was a plan trustee as well as a union officer, had been arrested earlier that day. He pleaded not guilty, and was released on $100,000 bond. The indictment follows a joint probe by the FBI and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Teamsters Local 812 represents about 3,000 soft drink and brewery workers in the New York City metropolitan area. John Ulrich, now … Read More ➡
On February 20, David Dauman, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3495, was charged in Adams County, Wisconsin Circuit Court with one count of stealing $3,597 from the Oxford, Wisc.-based union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
The disgust that many people feel following Thursday’s House of Representatives resolution condemning “hate” is justified. The resolution, retrofitted to the goals of “Third World first, America last” Democratic Party radicals, was a stern rebuke to critics of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the Somalia-born Muslim whose derogatory comments about Jews triggered the action. Since anti-Semitism and Islamophobia each constitute “hate,” the argument goes, they are equally bad. Both therefore must be condemned without regard as to whether one does more harm than another.
Many naïve, well-meaning people across the political spectrum believe this moral equivalence claptrap. For them, opposing “hate” is a no-brainer. Who possibly could be in favor of it? Given such an assumption, a condemnation by Congress of hate in all forms is necessary. To single out anti-Semitism is insufficient since it implicitly gives other forms of hate a free pass. That’s why the resolution, which passed 407-23, … Read More ➡
On February 14, Christy Coppin, former office secretary of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2250, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to one count of theft in the amount of $52,738 from the Muskogee union, which represents employees at the VA Hospital in that city. She had been indicted in January. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On February 11, Darius Pourfarzaneh, former trustee of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 935B, was charged in Worcester District Court with one count of larceny in the amount of $6,870 from the Worcester union, which represents employees of the arena facility in that city. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡