For a few years, Sarah Geddes Holmes used her union like a personal bank. She now might be facing a few years in prison. Last Thursday, December 3, Holmes, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 24, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to embezzling nearly $300,000 in funds from the union through embezzlement and bank fraud. She had been charged in an information count on November 23. The union represents more than 400 employees of a combined 10 employers at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. As part of her plea agreement, she must pay full restitution. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Sentencing is set for March 4.
According to prosecutors, Holmes, now 65, a resident of Clinton, Md., during May 2015-June 2018 embezzled local funds by writing checks to herself, … Read More ➡
On November 2, Tyrone Johnson and Dorothy Jordan, respectively, former president and former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3374, were indicted in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on two charges each of stealing funds from the Baltimore union. Johnson allegedly stole between $100 and $1,500; Jordan allegedly embezzled between $1,500 and $25,000, plus another $2,206. The union represents employees of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The indictments follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On November 13, Michael Johnson, former president and business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1658, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to five years of probation, with the first six months to be spent on a monitored curfew, for embezzling $9,317 in funds from the Pine Bluff-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. Johnson had been charged this past March, pleading guilty immediately afterward. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. … Read More ➡
On November 17, Angel Luis Garcia, former financial secretary of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1614, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to a year of home confinement, plus three years of supervised release, for embezzling around $117,000 from the union, based in Dover (Morris County), N.J. He also was ordered to pay $119,021 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. Garcia had pleaded guilty this June after being charged in December 2019. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Jeffrey Veach may see himself as “old school,” but he’s about to get a new kind of education. On September 23, Veach, former president of the Portage, Ind.-based International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 395, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to 42 months in prison for conspiracy to threaten and commit violence against nonunion workers at a construction site in Dyer, Ind. He and other union members had tried to shake down an out-of-state contractor into hiring only union labor. He and another member, Thomas Williamson Sr., had pleaded guilty in January after being charged in August 2018. Williamson, who also pleaded guilty, is set for sentencing on December 15. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Dyer Police Department.
Union Corruption Update covered this case twice before … Read More ➡
The unfinished business of the United Auto Workers scandal is nearing its end. A week ago, on November 17, Joe Ashton, former vice president of the UAW’s General Motors Department, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to 30 months in prison for receiving over $250,000 in illegal bribes and kickbacks from a union vendor, and for conspiring with two fellow union officials to launder the proceeds. He had pleaded guilty last December. Several ranking UAW officials, including its two previous presidents, already have pleaded guilty to embezzlement, racketeering and tax fraud charges. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Ashton, now 72, a resident of Ocean View, N.J., is a retired UAW vice president. He now is also one 15 defendants convicted of financial crimes related to … Read More ➡
Benefit fraud has become an enormous form of theft from labor unions. Add one more case to the list. On October 23, federal prosecutors announced a settlement with a Michigan-based company, Great Lakes Medical Laboratory, Inc., for a little over $1.2 million, a sum representing twice the company’s combined fraudulent billings of the Medicare program and a United Mine Workers of America-affiliated health plan in West Virginia. “This settlement demonstrates my office’s commitment to protect critical Medicare dollars and union-affiliated benefit plans from fraud and abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart. The action follows a joint probe by the Office of Inspector General of each of the Labor Department and the Health & Human Services Department, plus the U.S. Attorney’s Healthcare Fraud Abuse, Recovery and Response Team (ARREST).
If there has been a state hit harder by the opioid drug crisis than West Virginia, it would be hard to name … Read More ➡
Stealing was a group effort at United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 773. So was pleading guilty. On November 5, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York announced that five members of the Glens Falls, N.Y.-based union had pleaded guilty over the course of July 30 through November 5 of this year to defrauding the union health plan out of a combined sum of more than $65,000. The defendants – Christopher Roberts, Earl Graham, Jamie Ruggiero, Shawn Martindale and Torey Gannon – each had received reimbursements under false pretenses. As part of the agreement, they agreed to pay restitution. The pleas follow a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
According to prosecutors, the defendants submitted fake receipts for reimbursements of nonexistent medical expenses. Their respective hauls were: Roberts ($11,500); Graham ($14,052.72); Ruggiero ($15,721.70); Martindale ($3,748.89); … Read More ➡
On November 5, Douglas Dye, former unit chairman of United Auto Workers Local 12, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to one year of probation for embezzling funds from the Toledo union and another year of probation for falsifying union records to conceal the thefts. He also was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and a $125 special assessment on top of the $8,490 in restitution he already paid. Dye had pleaded guilty in July to embezzling $8,443 in union assets and concealment after being indicted in January. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Arthur Penn headed a union that represents federal security employees. Unfortunately, he very likely created a good deal of economic insecurity for those employees. On November 6, Penn, who for more than a decade and a half was chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police’s Defense Protective Service Labor Committee Pentagon, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for embezzling nearly $400,000 from the union, which represents officers of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. A grand jury had issued a seven-count indictment for wire fraud earlier that day. The charge follows a joint investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Penn, now 64, a resident of Quantico, Va., headed the Arlington, Va.-based union during 1999-2015. For much of that period, say federal prosecutors, he used his position as a license to steal. He diverted union funds to himself via … Read More ➡