The wages of corruption at the United Auto Workers continue to be paid. On February 18, Michael Grimes, a retired senior official at the Detroit-based union’s General Motors Department, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to 28 months in prison and a year of supervised release for honest services fraud and money laundering conspiracy related to his extraction of roughly $2 million in payoffs from UAW vendors through multiple schemes. He also must pay about $1.5 million restitution plus a $200 assessment. Grimes had pleaded guilty in September after being charged in August. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS and Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Grimes, now in his mid-60s, a resident of Fort Myers, Fla., had served as a $150,000-a-year administrative assistant to United Auto Workers Vice President Estrada. Apparently, it wasn’t enough. … Read More ➡
On February 5, Aphrodite Ueberroth, former office manager for Iron Workers Local 55, was indicted in Lucas County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court on one count of aggravated theft from the Toledo-based union in an amount of between $150,000 and $750,000, two counts of falsifying union financial records, six counts of forgery, and one count of receiving stolen property in an amount of between $1,000 and $7,500. While no further details are available on this case, it is of potential significance that her husband, Shawn Ueberroth, a Local 55 member, died in November 2018. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
The decline of the corrupt old guard at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 continues. On January 27, James Moylan, a close ally of the powerful Philadelphia union, and for a while chairman of the City of Philadelphia’s zoning board, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release for wire fraud and tax evasion. He also will have to pay $130,783 in combined restitution to the union and the IRS, plus a $10,000 fine and a $400 special assessment. Moylan had pleaded guilty in October. The actions follow an investigation by the FBI, the IRS, the U.S. Labor Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police and Attorney General’s Office.
The Romeros no longer are a family that stays together let alone steals together. On February 12, John S. Romero, former president of United Industrial and Service Workers of America (UISWA), was convicted by a jury in Los Angeles federal court of 14 felony charges related to the theft of nearly $800,000 from the health care plan of the Colton (San Bernardino County), Calif.-based union. His wife, son and daughter already have testified for the prosecution after pleading guilty to various charges. The four were arrested and indicted five years ago following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration. Sentencing for the elder John Romero is set for April 27. He faces up to 130 years in prison.
National Legal and Policy Center has covered this case before (here and here). John S. Romero, now 73, … Read More ➡
On February 11, James Young,
former president of American Federation of Teachers Local 4973, was sentenced
in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to two years of
probation and ordered to pay $5,450 in restitution and a $100 special
assessment for embezzling $7,050 in funds from the Philadelphia union to cover
gambling losses. He had pleaded guilty on October 23 after being charged that
October 1. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s
Office of Labor-Management Standards. … Read More ➡
If government benefits were available, Nathan Lum made sure that he was going to receive some of them, legally or not. But the only thing that he’s received now is a sentence. On January 29, Lum, former Longshore Division director of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to 30 months in prison for tax fraud and identity theft totaling more than $300,000 over several years. The identity theft involved his cashing of Social Security checks owed to his deceased father. Lum had pleaded guilty last March after an initial indictment in July 2018 and another one that September. He also will have to pay full restitution, plus a $125 special assessment. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Nathan Y.G. Lum, now 62, a resident of Honolulu, … Read More ➡
On February 10, Gregg Pedersen, former president of Association of Civilian Technicians Local 75, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa to two years of probation and ordered to pay $11,638 in restitution and a $100 fine for defrauding the Sioux City-based union. He had pleaded guilty last September to one count of wire fraud in the sum of $6,320 after being charged in August. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. … Read More ➡
On February 3, the New Orleans Police Department issued a warrant for the arrest of Chandra Miller, former secretary-treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 478, who had been charged with one count of theft in a sum of more than $5,000. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. … Read More ➡
On January 15, Chad Waldoch,
former secretary-treasurer with Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers
(SMART) Local 980, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of
North Dakota for embezzling $107,706 in funds from the Fargo union during January
2012-October 2017. He had been arrested the previous day. After pleading not
guilty, he is facing a trial set to begin on March 31. The actions follow an
investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
The outcome couldn’t have been more inevitable for Vance Pearson. And it couldn’t have been less welcome for the people ranking above him. Last Friday, February 7, Pearson, former regional director for the United Auto Workers and a member of the union’s international board, pleaded guilty in Detroit federal court to conspiracy to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars in union funds, enabling him and other UAW officials to live large – or at least larger – for nearly a decade. In so doing, he may have brought prosecutors one step closer to bringing charges against former Auto Workers President Gary Jones and his immediate predecessor, Dennis Williams. The action follows a probe by the FBI, the IRS, and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.