Former President of Fort Knox AFGE Local Charged with Fraud

On November 20, Rocky Gannon, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2302, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky on three counts of wire fraud and nine counts of securities forgery against the union, which represents civilian personnel at Fort Knox. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

 … Read More ➡

Ex-President of Letter Carriers Local in Michigan Sentenced

On November 19, Kelly Carter, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 560, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to six months of home confinement, two years of probation and 200 hours of community service for embezzling funds from the Benton Harbor union. She previously had made restitution in the amount of $9,031. She had pleaded guilty in August following her indictment in June for stealing $7,130. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Secretary-Treasurer of Machinists Local in Illinois Charged

On November 19, Amber Blake, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists Local Lodge 124, was charged in an information count in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with making a false entry in the financial records of the Channahon (near Joliet), Ill. union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Transportation Communications Secretary in Ohio Sentenced

On November 18, Bud Sherwood, former secretary-treasurer of Transportation Communications Union (TCU) Lodge 6546, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to time served and one year of supervised release for embezzling $10,813 from the Bellevue (near Sandusky) union. He previously had paid $13,002 in restitution. Sherwood had pleaded guilty in June after being charged in May. TCU is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Carpenters Benefits Manager in New Jersey Indicted for $1.5M+ Fraud

For George Laufenberg, there seemingly were no limits when it came to his pay. That’s why he’s no longer getting paid. On September 27, Laufenberg, former benefit funds administrator for certain New Jersey and New York affiliates of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, was indicted by a Newark federal grand jury on five counts related to his stealing more than $1.5 million in dues-funded plan assets. Alleged offenses include embezzling from an annuity fund, hiring a friend for a virtual no-show job, and concealing such schemes in a financial report. His attorney insists that his client is innocent. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration, plus the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

George Laufenberg, now 69, a resident of Harvey Cedars (Ocean County), N.J., had it pretty good for a while. He managed … Read More ➡

Associate of Philadelphia IBEW Boss Pleads Guilty to Fraud

James Moylan is about the last person that International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 wants to see taking the witness stand. But those fears might be realized. On October 16, Moylan, a longtime friend of John Dougherty, business manager of the powerful Philadelphia union, pleaded guilty in federal court to 17 counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false income tax returns in connection with his theft of around $49,000 from two nonprofit groups, each in some way supported by the union. He had been charged in January following a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration, plus the Pennsylvania State Police and Attorney General’s Office.

IBEW Local 98, now with about 4,700 members, for years has held a prominent place in the overlapping worlds of Philadelphia labor, real estate … Read More ➡

Benefits Consultant for Chicago-Area SEIU Affiliates Indicted for Bribery

On October 17, Rebecca Hedman, an agent for three Chicago-area health care providers, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on one count of conspiracy to commit commercial bribery via cellphone in an unspecified sum. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration. The action against Hedman follows the indictment in May of Robert Kurtycz, former comptroller of the Chicago chapters of Workers United and the Midwest Regional Joint Board, each an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, on one count of bribery conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud, one of which involved his receipt of $85,962 in union assets for fake reimbursements.… Read More ➡

Northern Virginia Union Official Sentenced for Conspiracy

The identity of Michael Carney’s union forever may remain unknown, but at least Carney himself is getting a measure of justice. On November 8, Carney, a former real estate manager for an unnamed labor union based in Herndon (Fairfax County), Va., was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to eight months of home confinement and two years of supervised probation for conspiring with a private contractor to commit wire fraud and embezzlement. He also was fined $25,000. A required restitution order for $23,367 previously had been satisfied. Carney had pleaded guilty in May immediately after being charged. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

As Union Corruption Update had indicated earlier (here and here), Carney, now 64, a resident of Ashburn, Va., along with an unnamed relative, during roughly mid-2012 through mid-2015, … Read More ➡

Plasterers Treasurer in Georgia Charged; Pleads Guilty

On November 19, Tony Westly, former business manager/financial secretary/treasurer of Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 148, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to embezzling union funds from the Atlanta-based union in an unspecified amount. He had been charged in an information count on October 31. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

UAW Chieftain Gary Jones Resigns as GM Department Scandal Widens

Gary Jones’ tenure as head of the United Auto Workers was brief. But he and the union are preparing for what may be a long ordeal. On November 20, Jones, beset by a slew of federal corruption charges involving extensive illegal payoffs exacted from vendors by ex-officials of the UAW’s General Motors Department, abruptly resigned as president. Nine days later, he ended his union membership. The actions occurred shortly after the UAW executive board filed paperwork to expel him and a regional director, Vance Pearson. While Jones has not been accused of anything (yet), his home was one of several sites raided in August by federal agents. In a related event, GM last month filed a racketeering suit against Fiat Chrysler on grounds that the latter misused the collective bargaining process to facilitate a merger.

If these were normal times, the 400,000-member, Detroit-based United Auto Workers might be … Read More ➡