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 as such. On October 18, Orville Merritt, ex-business manager and treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America, 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.

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