On February 11, Darius Pourfarzaneh, former trustee of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 935B, was charged in Worcester District Court with one count of larceny in the amount of $6,870 from the Worcester union, which represents employees of the arena facility in that city. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On February 6, Karen Pierce, a former office employee of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 142, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on eight counts of theft of funds in an unspecified amount from the San Antonio-based union. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On February 8, Christopher Mulhall, former secretary-treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 264, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to five months of home detention and 36 months of probation for wire fraud and embezzlement against the Hampton-based union in the sum of $57,310. He already has paid full restitution. Mulhall had pleaded guilty late last May after being charged earlier that month. The case has ensnared a number of top people in the union. In January, former President Benjamin Wisecarver pleaded guilty to wire fraud. And last November, husband and wife Dennis and Dorian Nicely, respectively, former local vice president and former business agent, pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡
Members of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) this January returned to work following a six-day strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District. But as that battle was ending, a more significant one was being launched. On January 22, Irene Seager, a teacher in Los Angeles’ Porter Ranch area, filed suit in federal court against the union and the school district challenging the union’s authority to limit dues opt-outs by dissenting employees to an annual window of just 30 days. Seager also wants a refund of dues she already paid. Unlike a more expansive suit filed against the union and the school district months ago by another teacher, Thomas Few, this one seeks class-action status. The case is part of a growing number of public-sector employee suits in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark Janus ruling last June.
Howard Janoske obtained business on the principle that every man has his price. Now he’s likely to pay a different kind of price. On March 1, Janoske, president of an unnamed Maryland-based plumbing and HVAC contractor, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to honest services fraud, theft and embezzlement in providing an official of an unnamed Virginia-based labor union with extensive kickbacks over a three-year period in return for receiving preference for union contracts. Sentencing is scheduled for July 12. The plea follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to the indictment, Howard Janoske, now 74, a resident of Oakland, Maryland (in the westernmost portion of the state), entered into an illegal quid pro quo agreement with the facilities and real estate manager of an unnamed large international union based in … Read More ➡
Susan Kyle paid herself on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, union members were involuntarily subsidizing her. On February 4, Kyle, former treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2428, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to two years in prison, plus three years of supervised release, for embezzling nearly $500,000 in funds over a six-year period from the Oakland-based union, which represents employees of East Bay Regional Parks. She had pleaded guilty last October to embezzlement and concealment; as part of the plea agreement, she will pay full restitution. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to prosecutors, Kyle, now 61, a resident of Citrus Heights (Sacramento County), Calif., used her position as local treasurer to “issue unauthorized payments to herself on a weekly basis” during 2008-14. She would verbally authorize the union … Read More ➡
For about a year, Kevin Crownover was too clever for his own good. He soon may have to do around that time behind bars. On January 31, Crownover, former treasurer for International Association of Machinists Local Lodge 2947, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California with one count of embezzling funds and one count of aggravated identity theft from the union, which represents mechanics employed at Lemoore Naval Air Station (Kings County), located south of Fresno. The total loss to the union is estimated at $50,879. The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to prosecutors, Crownover, now 46, a former employee at Lemoore Naval Air Station, during September 2015-October 2016 wrote at least 70 unauthorized checks and made any number of cash withdrawals from union bank accounts. In addition, to conceal the thefts, he forged the signature … Read More ➡
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 in Philadelphia used to be an open cash register for certain members and outside persons. Now the register has been closed. Last Wednesday, January 30, local Business Manager John Dougherty and seven other persons, including a Philadelphia city councilman, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in a 116-count indictment alleging a wide range of offenses including embezzlement, wire fraud and bribery. The defendants, all of whom have pleaded not guilty, during April 2010-August 2016 allegedly used union funds for unauthorized uses. It was in August 2016 that FBI agents raided over a dozen union construction sites, homes and offices following a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS, several agencies within the Department of Labor, and Pennsylvania State Police.
Electrical Workers Local 98 is no stranger to Union Corruption Update. More than a decade ago, a unionized … Read More ➡
On January 3, Steven Kristopher Perry, former financial secretary-treasurer of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 2077, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to one count of embezzling $20,458 in funds from the Columbus-based union. He had been charged last October. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Considering what Sergio Acosta stole, and enabled his business partner to steal, he is one lucky man. On January 15, Acosta, formerly president of United Auto Workers Local 2326 and trustee of a related health plan, was sentenced in Trenton federal court to three years of supervised release for scamming the plan and keeping a large portion of claims payouts. He also was ordered to pay $32,000 in restitution. Acosta had pleaded guilty last April to a superseding information count of theft, embezzlement and fund conversion. He and a New Jersey businessman, Lawrence Ackerman, had been charged in January 2017 in the scheme, which resulted in a $6.6 million loss to Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Ackerman, who pleaded guilty in December, is set for sentencing on March 20. The actions follow a U.S. Labor Department probe.
As Union Corruption Update has noted (here and here), Sergio … Read More ➡