Western Pennsylvania Teachers President Charged with Thefts

For well over four years, Charles Farris pushed the law of averages as far as he could. Now the laws of Pennsylvania have turned against him. On October 15, Farris, former president of the New Castle Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, was charged in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Court, Lawrence County, with 10 counts of felony theft and one count of misdemeanor theft related to the embezzlement of more than $35,000 in funds from the New Castle, Pa. union. He was arrested later that day, arraigned in court and set free. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to the 37-page complaint, Farris, a grade school gym teacher in the New Castle Area School District, during January 1, 2015-September 9, 2019 used his union debit card to make more than 300 unauthorized purchases totaling $35,887. These purchases … Read More ➡

Ex-Treasurer of West Virginia Teachers Union Sentenced for Fraud

On October 2, Cathy Byers, former treasurer of American Federation of Teachers Local 6540, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to eight months of home confinement and five years of supervised release for wire fraud in the sum of roughly $22,000 from the Ronceverte (Greenbrier County), W.Va.-based union. She also was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment on top of the restitution she already has paid. Byers had pleaded guilty in June to one count of wire fraud following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

West Virginia Teachers Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

On June 16, Cathy Byers, former treasurer of American Federation of Teachers Local 6540, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to one count of wire fraud of about $22,000 from the Ronceverte (Greenbrier County), W.Va.-based union. The state AFT chapter had discovered multiple purchases “unrelated to the business” of the union, and listed out these transactions as part of a January 10, 2019 letter to Byers and the local president, Jayne Ford. Byers soon admitted that she had used union funds for personal expenditures. Ford was not charged. The guilty plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Ex-Teachers Union President in Philadelphia Sentenced

On February 11, James Young, former president of American Federation of Teachers Local 4973, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to two years of probation and ordered to pay $5,450 in restitution and a $100 special assessment for embezzling $7,050 in funds from the Philadelphia union to cover gambling losses. He had pleaded guilty on October 23 after being charged that October 1. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.    … Read More ➡

Philadelphia Teachers President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On October 23, James Young, president of American Federation of Teachers Local 4973, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to one count of embezzling $7,050 in funds from the Philadelphia union. He had been charged on October 1. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Teachers Union President in Philadelphia Charged with Embezzlement

On October 1, James Young, president of American Federation of Teachers Local 4973, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with embezzlement of funds from the Philadelphia union in the sum of $7,050. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

San Francisco-Area AFT Treasurer Charged with Fraud, Theft

It’s a common truism that crooked teacher unions are a problem only for public schools. Kenneth Morris may be a prime example of the need for revision. On August 29, Morris, treasurer of American Federation of Teachers Local 2240, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California with five counts of bank fraud and three counts of embezzlement totaling more than $31,000 from the San Francisco-based union, which represents teachers, counselors and librarians employed by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Catholic Diocese of San Jose. A grand jury had indicted Morris a week earlier. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to prosecutors, Morris, now 50, a resident of Alameda, Calif. and a former math teacher at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, during September 10, 2018-December 10, 2018 took five checks of between … Read More ➡

D.C. Union, Feds Begin Recovering Stolen Funds

Until about three years ago the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) had been run by what amounted to a theft and money-laundering ring.  Now the local’s new leadership has a message: It wants its money back – as soon as possible. With help from federal prosecutors, it’s begun the recovery process. Early this month the union filed a claim to the $31,178 seized by the government from a Charles Schwab account registered in the names of Gwendolyn Hemphill and her husband, Charles Hemphill. Mrs. Hemphill, formerly the local’s office manager, along with ex-treasurer James O. Baxter II, was convicted on August 31 on 23 counts of conspiracy, embezzlement and other offenses. It’s true that $31,178 is only a drop in the bucket in comparison to the $4.6 million or more that the local leadership ripped off. But prosecutors and the current local leadership would call it a decent start.

 

Channing Phillips, Read More ➡

Two Convicted, One Acquitted in D.C. Teachers Union Embezzlement Scheme

aft-logoRoughly three years ago the leadership of the Washington Teachers Union (WTU), an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, revealed itself to be a racket of charlatans picking the pockets of dues-paying members. One by one, culminating with local President Barbara Bullock in the fall of 2003, the major players in a complex, long-term scheme to fleece WTU coffers of at least $4.6 million, pleaded guilty in federal court. To the surprise of almost nobody, the union’s two holdouts, Office Manager Gwendolyn Hemphill and Treasurer James O. Baxter II, neither of whom could be called “educators,” failed to convince a court of their innocence.

 

On August 31, a federal jury found both Hemphill and Baxter guilty on nearly two dozen counts, including conspiracy, embezzlement, money laundering, and wire fraud. A third defendant, a suburban Maryland-based tax accountant, James Goosby, 56, was found not guilty of covering up the thefts. Read More ➡