On January 17, Cheryl Angell, former treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 2-144, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin with one count of embezzling $98,711 from the Combined Locks (Fox Cities region), Wisc. union and four counts of filing false financial reports to conceal her thefts. Angell, a resident of nearby Kaukauna, allegedly stole the money during 2013-17. The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On January 12, Norman Baker, former financial secretary of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Local 220, was sentenced U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Axtell (near Waco)-based union. He also was ordered to pay $4,249 in restitution, a $5,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. Baker had pleaded guilty in October to embezzling $8,310 after being charged in September. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On January 10, Angela Parrish-Wilson, former office manager for Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Joint Council 932, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to one month in prison and five years of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Birmingham-based union. She also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $38,057. Parrish-Wilson had pleaded guilty in July to one count each of embezzlement and bank fraud. RWDSU is an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address last Tuesday night offered some sensible recommendations for immigration reform. Unfortunately, he omitted a few things – such as the need to fix the EB-5 visa program. The EB-5, authorized by the Immigration Act of 1990, allows persons from abroad who invest in a U.S. startup business to become lawful permanent residents. All too often, it is an invitation to fraud and self-dealing.
The EB-5 visa, intended to spur business development, offers a green card for immigrant small venture capitalists. The visa holder must invest at least $1 million in a “new commercial enterprise” or at least $500,000 if the enterprise is located in a designated Targeted Employment Area. Upon approval of a petition, the investor and dependent family members may obtain a green card. The investor must show that the investment has created or preserved at least 10 permanent domestic … Read More ➡
The Mafia might not control organized labor as it did decades ago, but don’t tell that to the feds. On January 10, five persons, each a member or an associate of the Genovese crime family, were indicted in Manhattan federal court for racketeering offenses dating back to 2000. Two of the defendants, Frank Cognetta and Vincent D’Acunto Jr., respectively, are secretary-treasurer of the Brooklyn-based Local 1D and Local 2D of the United Food and Commercial Workers. The charges follow a probe by the FBI, NYPD and Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General. Edwin Stier, a former federal prosecutor, noted: “Nobody should ever assume, given the history of the New York metropolitan area, that we’re going to be rid of organized crime influence completely, no matter what law enforcement does.”
The Genovese mob has a long tradition of milking New York City-area labor unions for profit, … Read More ➡
The era of partial workplace organizing is now in remission. And that’s a good thing for those concerned about the right not to be corralled into joining a union. On December 15, the National Labor Relations Board, by a 3-2 vote, ruled in PCC Structurals, Inc. that a small, unionized group of an otherwise nonunion workplace does not have standing as a separate collective bargaining unit. The group, the board concluded, shared a “community of interest” with the majority and hence cannot negotiate separately. The decision overturns the board’s ruling in Specialty Healthcare (2011), which dramatically expanded the basis for forming these miniature or “micro” bargaining units. Its also underscores the pivotal role of President Trump’s NLRB appointees, Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel.
It was a preliminary deal back in November. Now it’s a final one. Last Thursday, January 18, Richard D’Antuono, former business manager and financial secretary for Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association Local 40, pleaded guilty in Providence, R.I. federal court to a three-count information charging him with embezzling more than $300,000 in funds from the Cranston-based union and a related benefit plan, and with identity theft in connection with his forging of official signatures. The plea is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
According to federal prosecutors, D’Antuono, 42, a resident of Cranston, beginning in 2015 embezzled funds from the Local 40 general account and a union-sponsored apprenticeship plan. He acquired this income in a variety of ways: making checks out to himself well in excess of his salary; authorizing signatories … Read More ➡
Brian Haney and Kevin Gray have learned the hidden cost of patient referrals. On December 1, Haney, part-owner of a pharmacy in the southeast Texas community of Vidor, and Gray, operator of a Houston-area pharmacy, were given identical sentences in Austin federal court of 28 months in prison for committing a combined more than $800,000 worth of bribery and tax evasion. This was part of a far larger drug prescription scheme that heavily involved union-sponsored health plans and fleeced taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars in needless or otherwise inflated reimbursements. In addition, the defendants each were ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and $6,500 in court costs. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, IRS, U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General.
On January 4, Maria Nunez, former office secretary for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1484, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of falsifying financial records of the Wilmington (Los Angeles, harbor area)-based union. The plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On January 11, Kimberly Steinhoff, former treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 87, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to a superseding one-count information charging her with falsifying financial records of the Munising (Upper Peninsula)-based union. She originally had been charged last June with embezzling $12,751 in union funds. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.