APWU Secretary in New Jersey Sentenced for Embezzlement

On June 17, Robert Peter, former secretary-treasurer of American Postal Workers Union Local 526, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to six months of home detention and three years of probation for embezzling funds two years ago in the amount of $34,500 from the Blackwood, N.J.-based union. He had pleaded guilty in August following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Dissenting Employees in Seattle Sue SEIU Locals for Beck Violations

For more than three decades, union leaders have done everything possible, legal or not, to skirt the Supreme Court’s Beck decision. Some very recent evidence comes from the Seattle area. Last Wednesday, June 17, Daniel Dalison, an employee of a building maintenance contractor, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local for misleading him about his right to withhold dues for functions unrelated to union business. Two months earlier, Dalison, at the time an employee at an area hospital, along with a fellow hospital employee, Roger White, had filed separate NLRB complaints against another Seattle-area SEIU local on similar grounds. Under Beck, a private-sector union must inform employees of this “opt-out” right. The dissenters appear to have a strong case, too.

Under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, a labor union has the right of exclusive representation. That is, … Read More ➡

Lewisburg Federal Prison Guards Ex-President Sentenced for Fraud

Tony Liesenfeld for several years represented guards at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa. He soon will be an inmate, most likely at a location not far away. On June 8, Liesenfeld, former president and secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 148, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to a year and a day in prison, and two years of supervised release, for acts of wire fraud against the union totaling $77,716. He also was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Liesenfeld had pleaded guilty last October after being charged in September. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Liesenfeld, now 49, a resident of Sunbury, Pa., served as president and treasurer of local union during 2011-15. For much of that time, prosecutors alleged, he made unauthorized use of his … Read More ➡

SMART Treasurer in North Dakota Pleads Guilty to $100K+ Embezzlement

On June 12, Chad Waldoch, former secretary-treasurer of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 980, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota to embezzling $107,706 in funds from the Fargo union during January 2012-October 2017. He had been indicted in January following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Steelworkers Secretary in Upstate New York Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Brian Arnold had full control over his union’s finances – too much control. On June 9, Arnold, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 104M, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to embezzling more than $33,000 in funds from the Elmira-based union. The local represents about 75 workers at Anchor Glass Container Corporation. Arnold had been charged last October on one count each of embezzlement and concealment following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to prosecutors, Arnold, now 49, a resident of Pine City, N.Y., during the period April 2016-August 2018 stole $33,224.15 in union funds in a variety of ways. For one thing, he made unauthorized purchases with his union debit card. He also made unauthorized ATM withdrawals, and wrote unauthorized checks to himself, from the union checking account. To conceal the thefts, he allegedly falsified … Read More ➡

Pharmacy Owner Serving ILWU Members Sentenced in Compounding Scheme

Erica Carey ran a pharmacy that served members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Their health may be poorer for it. On October 30, 2019, Carey, owner of a Long Beach, Calif. pharmacy, was sentenced in Los Angeles federal court to three years of probation and ordered to pay more than $366,000 in restitution for defrauding the ILWU-Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) health plan. The main organizers of this $3 million-plus scam, brothers Berry and Dalibor Kabov, each had been sentenced that March to 121 months in prison for illegal sale of opioids and importation of controlled steroids, and failure to report about $1.5 million to the IRS. The actions follow a probe by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the IRS, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Labor Department, and state and local authorities.

According to prosecutors, the Kabov brothers, both residents of the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, … Read More ➡

West Virginia CWA Secretary Sentenced for Concealing Embezzlement

On June 2, Eric Childress, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 2276, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to five years of probation, and ordered to pay $30,611 in restitution and a $25 special assessment, for making a false entry in the financial records of the Bluefield, W.Va.-based union to conceal his embezzlement of funds. He had pleaded guilty last December to concealment after being indicted in September for embezzling $2,619. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Secretary for Operating Engineers Local in New Mexico Sentenced

On June 2, Jessica Pangburn, former office secretary for International Union of Operating Engineers Local 953, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico to one day in jail (time served), two years of supervised release and 25 hours of community service for wire fraud against the Albuquerque-based union. She also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $69,469. Pangburn had pleaded guilty last November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Fire Fighters Treasurer in Wisconsin Sentenced for Embezzlement

On November 14, 2019, William Drath, former treasurer of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 487, was sentenced in Eau Claire (Wisconsin) County Court to three years of probation and 480 hours of community service for embezzling more than $18,000 from the Eau Claire union over a six-year period. He had pleaded guilty that August following a complaint filed by his successor with local police. Drath had retired from the Eau Claire fire department shortly after the discovery of the thefts.… Read More ➡

Ex-UAW Chieftain Gary Jones Pleads Guilty to Corruption, Tax Evasion

The Gary Jones era at the United Auto Workers was brief. But if Jones wants a brief prison sentence, he’ll be at the mercy of prosecutors. Two days ago, June 3, Jones, UAW president until last November, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to embezzlement, racketeering and tax fraud related to his role in the diversion of between $1 million and $1.5 million in union funds toward personal luxuries such as vacations, golf outings and cigars, and their coverup. He is set for sentencing on October 6. Thus far, more than a dozen union and auto industry officials have been convicted following an ongoing probe by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General. A federal takeover of the 400,000-member UAW remains a possibility.

Union Corruption Update has been following this phase of the probe … Read More ➡