For George Laufenberg, there seemingly were no limits when it came to his pay. That’s why he’s no longer getting paid. On September 27, Laufenberg, former benefit funds administrator for certain New Jersey and New York affiliates of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, was indicted by a Newark federal grand jury on five counts related to his stealing more than $1.5 million in dues-funded plan assets. Alleged offenses include embezzling from an annuity fund, hiring a friend for a virtual no-show job, and concealing such schemes in a financial report. His attorney insists that his client is innocent. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration, plus the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
George Laufenberg, now 69, a resident of Harvey Cedars (Ocean County), N.J., had it pretty good for a while. He managed … Read More ➡
James Moylan is about the last person that International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 wants to see taking the witness stand. But those fears might be realized. On October 16, Moylan, a longtime friend of John Dougherty, business manager of the powerful Philadelphia union, pleaded guilty in federal court to 17 counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false income tax returns in connection with his theft of around $49,000 from two nonprofit groups, each in some way supported by the union. He had been charged in January following a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration, plus the Pennsylvania State Police and Attorney General’s Office.
IBEW Local 98, now with about 4,700 members, for years has held a prominent place in the overlapping worlds of Philadelphia labor, real estate … Read More ➡
On October 17, Rebecca Hedman, an agent for three Chicago-area health care providers, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on one count of conspiracy to commit commercial bribery via cellphone in an unspecified sum. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration. The action against Hedman follows the indictment in May of Robert Kurtycz, former comptroller of the Chicago chapters of Workers United and the Midwest Regional Joint Board, each an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, on one count of bribery conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud, one of which involved his receipt of $85,962 in union assets for fake reimbursements.… Read More ➡
The identity of Michael Carney’s union forever may remain unknown, but at least Carney himself is getting a measure of justice. On November 8, Carney, a former real estate manager for an unnamed labor union based in Herndon (Fairfax County), Va., was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to eight months of home confinement and two years of supervised probation for conspiring with a private contractor to commit wire fraud and embezzlement. He also was fined $25,000. A required restitution order for $23,367 previously had been satisfied. Carney had pleaded guilty in May immediately after being charged. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
As Union Corruption Update had indicated earlier (here and here), Carney, now 64, a resident of Ashburn, Va., along with an unnamed relative, during roughly mid-2012 through mid-2015, … Read More ➡
On November 19, Tony Westly, former business manager/financial secretary/treasurer of Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 148, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to embezzling union funds from the Atlanta-based union in an unspecified amount. He had been charged in an information count on October 31. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Gary Jones’ tenure as head of the United Auto Workers was brief. But he and the union are preparing for what may be a long ordeal. On November 20, Jones, beset by a slew of federal corruption charges involving extensive illegal payoffs exacted from vendors by ex-officials of the UAW’s General Motors Department, abruptly resigned as president. Nine days later, he ended his union membership. The actions occurred shortly after the UAW executive board filed paperwork to expel him and a regional director, Vance Pearson. While Jones has not been accused of anything (yet), his home was one of several sites raided in August by federal agents. In a related event, GM last month filed a racketeering suit against Fiat Chrysler on grounds that the latter misused the collective bargaining process to facilitate a merger.
If these were normal times, the 400,000-member, Detroit-based United Auto Workers might be … Read More ➡
On October 22, Dana Quinn Roush, former president of American Postal Workers Union Local 403, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to one count of embezzlement of funds in the sum of $10,089 from the Spartanburg-based union. She had been charged on September 12 following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
This may be the least of her problems. On September 19, a woman named Dana Q. Roush, a resident of nearby Greenville, S.C., was found guilty in federal court of mail fraud conspiracy in connection with a rent-to-own residential real estate scam involving about 130 properties that she ran with husband Michael Roush. The husband had pleaded guilty prior to trial. The couple’s firm, Kingdom Connected Investments (KCI) LLC, promised a “win-win” outcome for distressed homeowners and aspiring homebuyers. KCI, marketed as a “Christian” organization, would buy a … Read More ➡
On October 30, Ellen Canterbury, former president of the Metal Trades Council, Wiregrass Trades, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama following her indictment for bank robbery and incidental crimes totaling $11,570. The Fort Rucker, Ala.-based council is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO’s Metal Trades Department, which consists of 17 unions. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On November 7, Thomas Popillo, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 81266, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for embezzling $37,568.68 in funds from the Newington-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Popillo had pleaded guilty in August following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
If there is a worse piece of legislation in the history of American labor relations than the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, one would be hard-pressed to find it. This gift to organized labor, introduced in May by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would dismantle virtually every existing safeguard against union monopoly in the private-sector workplace. Among its features, the measure would override state Right to Work laws protecting employees from being fired for withholding union dues; create an expansive “joint employer” standard to force employers to bargain alongside their contractors; and ban employment arbitration agreements. The House Education and Labor Committee approved the measure on September 25 in a party-line 26-21 vote, setting up a brutal battle in 2020 in the full House and likely the Senate.
Labor unions in this country regularly proclaim their solidarity with “working families,” also known as “working … Read More ➡