Central California Union Consultants Charged with Fraud

In California, selling worker’s compensation insurance requires a license. The business practices of Marcus Asay and Antonio Gastelum would seem to justify such a requirement. On September 24, Asay, founder of a Fresno-area firm, American Labor Alliance, and Gastelum, a former principal officer of the alliance, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in a 19-count superseding indictment for fraud and money laundering related to the sale of their financial products. In 2018 the California Department of Insurance had penalized the company and certain affiliates by more than $4.3 million. The latest action follows in the wake of an amended civil suit filed by a Fresno-area employer. The defendants are denying all wrongdoing. The charges follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Labor.

American Labor Alliance (ALA), launched in 2007, doesn’t look like a union. But … Read More ➡

Machinists Secretary in Texas Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

On September 16, Moises Romero, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 811, pleaded guilty in the District Court of Harris County (Texas) to misdemeanor theft of fiduciary property of roughly between $500 and $1,000 from the Houston union. He then was sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication. As a condition of his plea agreement, he already had paid $21,342. Romero had been charged in February with misapplication of funds in a sum of between $20,000 and $100,000. Local 811 represents about 2,700 ramp and fleet service employees of United/Continental Airlines. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

SMART Treasurer in North Dakota Sentenced for Embezzlement

On September 30, Chad Waldoch, former secretary-treasurer of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 980, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota to 30 months of supervised release for embezzling $107,706 in funds from the Fargo-based union during January 2012-October 2017. He also was ordered to pay $50,270 in restitution on top of the $56,436 he already had paid, plus a $100 special assessment. Waldoch had pleaded guilty this June after being indicted in January. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

South Carolina Postal Workers President Sentenced for Theft

On September 29, Dana Roush, former president of American Postal Workers Union Local 403, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to five years in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling $10,889 in funds from the Spartanburg union. She also was ordered to pay full restitution. Roush had pleaded guilty in October 2019 after being charged in September. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Letter Carriers Local President in Michigan Pleads Guilty

On September 28, Kathryn Connelly, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 707, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to one count of embezzlement of funds from the Sault Ste. Marie-based union in the amount of $10,323. She had been charged on August 31 following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

LIUNA Office Manager in Indianapolis Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced

On September 22, Misty Fain, former office manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 120, pleaded guilty in Marion County, Indiana Superior Court to three counts of theft of funds from the Indianapolis union in a sum of at least $750 and less than $50,000. She then was sentenced to one year in prison (suspended) and one year of probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,000. Fain had been charged on August 5. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.   … Read More ➡

BLET Secretary-Treasurer in Texas Charged with Theft; Pleads Guilty

On September 16, Edward Davis Jr., former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 620, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to embezzling funds from the Fort Worth union in the amount of $61,386. He had been charged in an information count two days earlier. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

NSO Treasurer in Texas Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On September 17, Harold Weatherford, former treasurer of National Staff Organization (NSO), Professional Staff Association, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to embezzling $82,560 in funds from the Tomball (Houston metro area) union. He had been charged on August 21. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Tennessee Steelworkers Local Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced

On September 15, Travis Cofer, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 990, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee to two years of probation for embezzling $12,432 in funds from the Maryville (near Knoxville) union. He also was ordered to pay $9,608 in restitution on top of the $2,824 he already had paid, plus a $100 special assessment. Cofer pleaded guilty this past January following his indictment in September 2019. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Federal Judge Guts DOL Joint Employer Rule; Unions Cheer

Should a company be liable for negotiating a collective bargaining agreement alongside one of its contractors or franchisees even if it doesn’t set any workplace rules? U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods of the Southern District of New York thinks it should. On September 8, Judge Woods struck down a key portion of a rule change finalized in January by the Department of Labor that narrowed the circumstances for assigning an employer ‘joint’ or ‘dual’ status and thus forcing it to collectively bargain. The DOL rule, he concluded, contravened the Fair Labor Standards Act, and was “arbitrary and capricious.” Attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia had filed suit in late February to enjoin enforcement. As a result of the decision, unions have a far wider basis for suing an employer for unfair labor practices.

Union Corruption Update has covered this deceptively crucial issue several times (see hereRead More ➡