Union health plans have become one of the largest targets of scams in this country. Nermin Awad El-Hadik, for one, is evidence of that. On November 9, El-Hadik, owner of a Houston-area pharmacy, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to paying more than $5 million in kickbacks to an Austin-area chiropractor, part of a larger scheme that cost the Department of Labor tens of millions of dollars in questionable or false worker’s compensation claims. Ms. El-Hadik, who faces up to five years in prison, has agreed to make restitution. She remains free pending sentencing. This and related actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, IRS, U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General.
Union Corruption Update described this case at length last month. Garry Craighead, an Austin-area chiropractor, had been sentenced to 14 years in prison, plus three … Read More ➡ “Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to Role in Texas Health Benefit Scheme”
On October 19, Patrick Remigio, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2859, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to one count of wire fraud against the Phoenix-area union, which represents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. As part of the plea deal, he agreed to pay $95,000 in restitution. Remigio had been indicted in January on eight counts of wire fraud and two counts of false record-keeping. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡ “Former President of Arizona AFGE Local Pleads Guilty to Fraud”
On October 13, Clinton Humphrey, former president and business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 386, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas to six months of home confinement and five years of probation for embezzling $51,811.70 in funds from the Texarkana, Ark.-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution plus a $100 special assessment. Humphrey had pleaded guilty to an information in January. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡ “IBEW President in Arkansas Sentenced for Embezzlement”
Ronald Mulcahey often paid his employees in cash. Now he’s preparing to pay a price of a different kind. On October 25, Mulcahey, proprietor of a number of environmental services firms in the Boston area, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to defrauding his employees of scheduled benefits. One of his companies had a collective bargaining contract in force with a local of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). By paying certain employees off the books through a pair of identical nonunion companies, he was able to underreport benefits and avoid applicable federal taxes. The guilty plea follows a joint investigation by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. Sentencing is set for January 19.
In the construction industry there is a widespread practice, known as double-breasting, in which the owner of a unionized business sets up one … Read More ➡ “Massachusetts Contractor Pleads Guilty to LIUNA Benefit Fraud, Tax Evasion”
On October 11, Violet Lamorie, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 695, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado with embezzling more than $70,000 from the Denver union, which represents employees of the U.S. Mint plant in that city. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Relations and the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡ “AFGE Secretary-Treasurer in Denver Charged with Embezzlement”
On October 11, Steve Hartman, former secretary-treasurer of Association of Civilian Technicians Chapter 83, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to two years of probation and 50 hours of community service for forging a security in the amount of $2,173 from the Fort Knox union. He also was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and pay a $100 special assessment. Hartman had been charged in June, at which time he pleaded guilty. He previously had paid restitution in the amount of $13,208. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡ “Civilian Technicians Secretary at Fort Knox Sentenced”
For decades, unions in America have asserted what they see as their right to extract dues from non-joining workers. Lately, they’ve gotten creative in challenging state Right to Work laws that protect such workers. Earlier this month they lost a ballot initiative in South Dakota to overturn that state’s longstanding law. In Wisconsin the story was different. Union leaders persuaded a county judge in April to overturn a similar law enacted last year at the urging of Gov. Scott Walker, though the State did manage to obtain a hold on the order. And in West Virginia, labor chieftains in August won an injunction to suspend Right to Work legislation passed months earlier over Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto. All this carries extra significance in the wake of the September death of Reed Larson, long the embodiment of the Right to Work principle.
Unions in this country often claim that employers … Read More ➡ “Unions Step Up Attack on Right to Work Legislation”
On October 6, Jeffrey Velfing and John Crosby, respectively, former chief steward and former assistant steward of National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 307, were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to identical sentences of two years of probation, a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment for embezzling funds from the Detroit union. Each already had paid full restitution in the amount of $6,758. Velfing and Crosby had pleaded guilty in June after being indicted in April. The actions follow a joint probe by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡ “Mail Handlers Stewards in Detroit Sentenced for Theft”
On October 4, Adele Dewey, former treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 811, was indicted in the Ashtabula County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas on one count of theft in the amount of $4,224 and one count of forgery against the Andover, Ohio union. The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡ “NE Ohio Steelworkers Treasurer Indicted for Theft, Forgery”
On September 26, Esther LaFontant, former bookkeeper for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 12, pleaded guilty in Suffolk County Superior Court (Mass.) to three counts of larceny totaling $154,857 and one count of concealing the thefts from the Boston-based union. Four days later, on September 30, she was sentenced to one year of incarceration and 10 years of probation, and ordered to make full restitution. LaFontant had been charged in March following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡ “Plumbers Bookkeeper in Boston Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced”