AFL-CIO Detroit Branch Treasurer Charged with Embezzlement

Cathy Long had an impressive skill set. Unfortunately for her, those skills were illegal. On March 12, Long, former treasurer of the Metro Detroit Branch of the AFL-CIO and the Laborers International Hall of Fame (LIHOF), was charged in Wayne County (Mich.) District Court with stealing a combined nearly $50,000 from the two organizations over a more than three-year period. An internal review in July 2018 of financial records had uncovered a series of unauthorized payments. She was charged with two counts of embezzlement, three counts of uttering and publishing, using a computer to commit a crime, and larceny. Long pleaded not guilty at her court arraignment. The evidence suggests she would do well to change her plea.

According to prosecutors, Long, now 61, a resident of Detroit, during March 2015-July 2018 falsified a computerized accounting program, forging the names of authorized signers on checks and “manufacturing documents to give … Read More ➡

Labor Secretary Nominee Walsh is Soft on Union Violence and Corruption

Marty Walsh

When Joe Biden campaigned for president, he vowed to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” He wasn’t kidding. His nominee for labor secretary, Marty Walsh, once headed a union himself. And for these past seven years, as mayor of Boston, he has displayed a tendency to look past criminal activity by certain local unions. Moreover, since his January 7 nomination, evidence has emerged that he diverted over a million dollars over the years from his campaign coffers to a boutique consulting firm for which his girlfriend works. The payments recently have risen to nearly $15,000 a month, accounting for over half of the company’s revenues. Such behavior suggests serious conflicts of interest, an issue that needs to be addressed at Senate confirmation hearings.  

Marty Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, was born in 1967 and raised in the Dorchester section of Boston. Politically, he is … Read More ➡

Laborers Business Manager in West Virginia Sentenced for Embezzlement

On October 15, Rick Drain, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1085, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to one year and one day in prison, plus one year of supervised release, for embezzling $50,281 from the Parkersburg-based union. He had pleaded guilty in July after being charged in March. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. As Union Corruption Update has explained, Drain over a decade ago had been accused of stealing union funds by a former employee as part of an unlawful termination civil suit. He managed to escape accountability on that occasion. This time, he wasn’t so lucky. … Read More ➡

LIUNA Office Manager in Indianapolis Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced

On September 22, Misty Fain, former office manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 120, pleaded guilty in Marion County, Indiana Superior Court to three counts of theft of funds from the Indianapolis union in a sum of at least $750 and less than $50,000. She then was sentenced to one year in prison (suspended) and one year of probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,000. Fain had been charged on August 5. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.   … Read More ➡

Laborers Office Manager in Indianapolis Charged with Theft

On August 5, Misty Fain, former office manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 120, was charged in Marion County, Indiana Superior Court in a three-count information with theft of funds from the Indianapolis-based union in a sum of at least $750 and less than $50,000. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

LIUNA Business Manager in West Virginia Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

For Rick Drain, old habits die hard. And the consequences this time may include a stretch in prison. Last Monday, July 13, Drain, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1085, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to one count of embezzling $50,281 in funds from the Parkersburg-based union, which represents several hundred area construction and public service workers. He had been charged in March following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. He faces up to five years in prison at sentencing this October.

According to prosecutors, Drain, now 56, a resident of Vienna (Wood County), W.Va., used his position as local business manager to divert member dues and other fees into his own pockets. He apparently had a history of this sort of thing. Back in 2009, he and the local were named … Read More ➡

Laborers Business Manager in West Virginia Charged with Embezzlement

Rick Drain might be going down the drain. Some would call that poetic justice. On March 2, Drain, former business manager of Laborers International Union of North America Local 1085, was charged in an information in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia with embezzling $50,281 in funds from the Parkersburg-based union, which represents several hundred construction and public service employees. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. There is a story within the story here. For this case has its roots in events of more than a decade ago.

Back in July 2009, an Ohio woman, Debra Ann Pryor, had named LIUNA Local 1085 and Rick Drain as co-defendants in a civil rights suit in Wood County (West Virginia) Circuit Court. Pryor, the local office manager for several years until her dismissal, had claimed she was fired in retaliation … Read More ➡

Laborers Business Manager in New Hampshire Sentenced for Embezzlement

On October 10, Dennis Robertson, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 668, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to three years of probation for embezzling $37,897 in funds from the Hookset union during the period August 2015-February 2017. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. He had pleaded guilty in June following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Couple Pleads Guilty to Ripping Off Texas LIUNA Local; Sentenced

Orville and Teri Rae Merritt aren’t married to each other anymore. They’re probably relieved, too. On October 18, Orville Merritt, ex-business manager and treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America Local 1168, pleaded guilty in the 78th District Court of Texas for his role in the theft of nearly $46,000 in funds from the Wichita Falls union, and was sentenced to three years in prison. His sentence reflects his creating a fake Facebook account in his wife’s name in order to defraud her. Teri Rae Merritt, now known as Teri Rae Coan, shouldn’t get much sympathy. On October 30, she was sentenced to 10 years of supervision for theft from the union, where she had been office manager. She had pleaded guilty on October 25 after being charged on October 4. Both must pay restitution. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Laborers Local … Read More ➡

Laborers Organizer in Phoenix Charged with Theft; Pleads Guilty

On August 23, Mitchell Sharp, a Phoenix-based former organizer for the Laborers International Union of North America, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona with one count of theft from an Indian Health Service local office in Phoenix in an amount of more than $1,000. He then pleaded guilty. Sharp allegedly had made unauthorized use of his union credit card. The charge and plea follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡