Longtime readers of this publication no doubt have a sense of which unions are most prone to internal theft. The U.S. Department of Labor certainly does. In separate letters dated October 6, the DOL warned United Steelworkers President Thomas Conway and American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) President Everett Kelley that their unions are “disproportionately subject to embezzlement.” Anonymous DOL officials told the Daily Caller News Foundation, which had obtained copies of the letters, that such a step is “very rare.” The two labor organizations, respectively, represent about 575,000 and 323,000 members, and have combined assets worth around $1.4 billion. The action suggests that the department is giving extra attention to monitoring annual financial reports of unions generally.
The United Steelworkers, headquartered in Pittsburgh, has seen its share of thefts in the last couple years. This September, Brian Arnold, former financial secretary for the Elmira, N.Y.-based Steelworkers Local … Read More ➡
On September 15, Travis Cofer, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 990, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee to two years of probation for embezzling $12,432 in funds from the Maryville (near Knoxville) union. He also was ordered to pay $9,608 in restitution on top of the $2,824 he already had paid, plus a $100 special assessment. Cofer pleaded guilty this past January following his indictment in September 2019. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
At least Brian Arnold won’t have to serve any prison time. Last Thursday, September 10, Arnold, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 104M, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to two years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for embezzling $33,224.15 from the Elmira-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. The local represents employees at Anchor Glass Container Corporation. Arnold had pleaded guilty this June after being charged last October with embezzlement and concealment. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to prosecutors, Arnold, now 49, a resident of Pine City, N.Y., during April 2016-August 2018 made unauthorized purchases with the union’s debit card, ATM withdrawals from its checking account, and checks to himself from the checking account. All stolen funds went for his personal use. Given that he … Read More ➡
Brian Arnold had full control over his union’s finances – too much control. On June 9, Arnold, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 104M, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to embezzling more than $33,000 in funds from the Elmira-based union. The local represents about 75 workers at Anchor Glass Container Corporation. Arnold had been charged last October on one count each of embezzlement and concealment following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to prosecutors, Arnold, now 49, a resident of Pine City, N.Y., during the period April 2016-August 2018 stole $33,224.15 in union funds in a variety of ways. For one thing, he made unauthorized purchases with his union debit card. He also made unauthorized ATM withdrawals, and wrote unauthorized checks to himself, from the union checking account. To conceal the thefts, he allegedly falsified … Read More ➡