Maryland AFGE Secretary-Treasurer Indicted on Multiple Counts

On June 27, Annette Jones, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 331, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on one count of bank fraud, two counts of mail fraud and two counts of identity theft in connection with theft of funds from the Perry Point, Md. union. The indictment did not cite a dollar figure. The indictment follows a probe by the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Steelworkers Local Treasurer in Wisconsin Sentenced for Embezzlement

On June 18, Cheryl Angell, former treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 2-144, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling $98,711 from the Combined Locks (Fox Cities region), Wisc.-based union. She also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Angell, a resident of nearby Kaukauna, had pleaded guilty in March after being charged in January. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

President of Upstate New York Police Union Indicted for Theft

Police all too often break the law as well as enforce it. Aaron Collington apparently is one of those officers. On June 8, Collington, a nearly 20-year veteran of the Troy, N.Y. police force, was indicted in Rensselaer County Court for third-degree larceny in connection with the disappearance of $6,200 from the bank account of the Troy Police Benevolent Association. State police allege that he diverted cash from the account and deposited the funds into his own account to cover current and back rent. Collington, now 49, who resigned his union post last September and was arrested the following month, pleaded not guilty at his June 12 arraignment.… Read More ➡

West Virginia Building & Trades Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

For about four years, Joan Matthews outsmarted her union. Then people started to notice. On June 12, Matthews, former bookkeeper for the Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to one count of embezzling funds from the Charleston-based labor organization in the amount of $183,667.11. She had been indicted in January following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Matthews, who has agreed to pay full restitution, is scheduled for sentencing on September 11.

According to prosecutors, Joan Matthews, now 70, a resident of South Charleston, W.Va., began stealing funds from the council, an AFL-CIO affiliate, in 2010. She did this in a variety of ways: preparing and cashing unauthorized union checks; using union funds to pay credit card bills; and making unauthorized charges to council credit cards. Her embezzlement continued until September 2014 when … Read More ➡

Supreme Court’s Janus Ruling Thwarts Union Monopoly Power

Public-sector unions, long accustomed to getting their way, received a rude awakening this morning. By 5-4, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 that nonmember state and local government employees are not required to pay partial dues (“agency fees”) to a union representing them. The decision overturns over 40 years of union monopoly power now practiced in nearly two dozen states. In so doing, it will hamper the ability of public-employee unions to route dues collections toward political activism. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, stated, “States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees.” Union officials fear that millions of workers now will be able to choose whether or not to pay dues. Frankly, such a prospect should be welcomed, not feared.

Union Corruption Update described this case in detail last fall after the Supreme Court had granted standing. Mark … Read More ➡

New York Accounting Execs Charged with Concealing Union Benefit Thefts

An organization hires a certified public accountant as its first line of defense against being sued or ripped off. Salvatore Armao and Karen Auer, respectively, the founder-managing partner and a principal officer of the Garden City (Nassau County), L.I.-based accounting firm Armao LLP, apparently forgot their mission. On June 1, the U.S. Justice Department announced that the pair had been charged in Manhattan federal court with aiding and abetting the embezzlement of over $100,000 from a benefit plan of an unspecified union. Each surrendered to authorities that morning. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration, with assistance from the FBI and the Justice Department’s Labor-Management Racketeering Unit.

According to federal prosecutors, Salvatore Armao, 64, a resident of Queens, N.Y., and Karen Auer, 47, a resident of Bethpage, N.Y., had the wrong kind of loyalty to a client. From … Read More ➡

AFSCME President in Maryland Pleads Guilty to Theft

On June 5, Sophia Love, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2751, pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore to one count of theft in the sum of $15,548 from the Baltimore union. She had been indicted last August following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

SPFPA President in Maryland Enters Alford Plea for Theft

On June 1, Keith Franzese, former president of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 275, entered an Alford plea in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Md. to one count of theft in an amount of $67,624 from the Greenbelt, Md.-based union. He had been indicted on multiple counts last November for thefts of a substantially greater sum. In an Alford plea, the defendant does not formally admit to have committed the offense but admits that the evidence is sufficient for a conviction. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Texas Local Glass Workers President Charged; Pleads Guilty

On May 29, Charles Webster, former president of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Local 284, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas with one count of failing to properly maintain financial records of the Longview-based union. He then pleaded guilty. GMP Local 284 recently reaffiliated itself with the United Steelworkers. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

IATSE Secretary-Treasurer in SE Virginia Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On May 29, Christopher Mulhall, former secretary-treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 264, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzlement from the Hampton union in the amount of $57,310. He had been charged on May 11. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡