Posts tagged Embezzlement

    Trial of Philadelphia labor leaders exposes the rampant corruption plaguing the country’s unions

    November 16, 2023 // On Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Grenell showed evidence of Burrows billing the union for more than $65,000 “for renovations done on his New Jersey home and other properties he owned,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Last week, lawyers showed the jury proof that Dougherty spent $7,000 of union dues on a birthday party and lavish gifts for his wife and mistress, the union’s political director, “at separate Atlantic City shindigs within weeks of each other." Union corruption is nothing new, and Burrow’s and Dougherty’s trial details are relatively unsurprising. Those organizations have a long track record of dishonesty and exploitative tactics, such as forcing a company’s employees to pay union dues or strong-arming the city of Philadelphia to use union contractors for projects.

    Big Labor Is an Economic and Political Dead End

    October 26, 2023 // While misguided faux populists like Senator Hawley adopt the policy positions of union leaders who want to force as many workers as possible to fund their self-interested political agenda, other Republicans should stand with workers and co-sponsor the Employee Rights Act. It would protect workers’ right to secret-ballot union elections, the right of freelancers to remain independent (as the vast majority prefer), and allow workers to decide for themselves whether they wish to share personal information with union organizers or support union political spending. Too often, labor issues are inaccurately described as having two sides: “union” and “management.” But this populist moment is the perfect time for Congress to stand up for the oft-forgotten but most important third group: actual workers. The Employee Rights Act would be the perfect start. In the face of President Biden’s advancing radical agenda and some Republicans’ erroneously gravitating towards it, this pro-worker legislation can’t be enacted a moment too soon.

    Brotherhood of Shoe and Allied Craftsmen’s Andrea Anderson Charged with Embezzlement

    October 3, 2023 // On September 6, 2023, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Andrea Anderson, former employee of the Brotherhood of Shoe and Allied Craftsmen (located in Lakeville, Mass.), was charged in a criminal information with one count of embezzlement from a labor organization in the approximate amount of $39,169, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office

    UAW caught using threats and coercion to illegally seize workers’ dues

    September 27, 2023 // Green’s federal charges against the union maintained not only that UAW officials had made her jump through unnecessary hoops to exercise her right to cut off union dues, but also that UAW bosses made threats against her job when she tried to resign, with one union official warning her “if it were up to me, you’d lose your job for leaving the union.” Green’s settlement also forced UAW officials to refrain from such illegal threats in the future. Meanwhile in Iowa, four employees of air filter manufacturer Donaldson won a recent settlement in which UAW officials were required to return over $1,000 in illegally-seized dues. In each Donaldson worker’s case, UAW bosses had either refused to stop dues deductions despite producing no original documentation showing the workers had consented to such deductions in the first place, or had kept seizing money after an employee resigned union membership and revoked authorization to deduct dues, which should have been effective in stopping the flow of dues.

    Disgraced ex-NYPD union boss Ed Mullins asks for no-jail sentence in embezzlement case

    July 28, 2023 // The disgraced ex-head of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association is asking a judge to impose a no-jail penalty at his sentencing in an embezzlement case next month. Ed Mullins, 61, in January copped to stealing $600,000 from the union he helmed — submitting inflated expense reports between 2017 and 2021 and using money for high-end meals, clothes, jewelry, home appliances and a relative’s college tuition. Mullin’s lawyer Thomas Kenniff said his client’s 39 years of public service, otherwise spotless criminal record and other factors warrant leniency, according to a Thursday letterto Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl. “While the stain of this conviction will forever tarnish Mr. Mullins’ SBA tenure, it does not define it,” Kenniff wrote. “Nor must it erase the many years of faithful service he devoted to the SBA, and the successes the organization achieved under his leadership.”

    Former Honolulu Union Leader Headed To Prison For More Than 11 Years

    July 24, 2023 // In a weeks-long trial last year, federal prosecutors detailed how the finances of Local 1260 nosedived after Ahakuelo took over as business manager and financial secretary. In 2010, the union had a surplus of approximately $700,000, Gillmor noted. Four years later, it had a deficit of some $760,000. Prosecutors said Ahakuelo hired family members at salaries exceeding what union rules allowed. His wife, sister-in-law, son and his children’s spouses were all on the union’s payroll. Their pay contributed to the union’s salary expenses jumping by 150%, the judge said. Ahakuelo was emboldened by an inexperienced executive board, handpicked by Ahakuelo himself, that literally and figuratively handed him signed blank checks to spend as he wished, Gillmor said. Ahakuelo was also able to make unilateral decisions on travel. On several occasions, he brought an unnecessary entourage of family members and other employees on trips with dubious connections to union needs.

    Federal court hands down a major conviction of corrupt union bosses

    July 2, 2023 // "LEEBA inflicted severe damage on its members over the years, to the point that it created division, disgust and disdain," said Bruce Mateer, a former member of the union. "Thanks to LEEBA, we have one of the worst-paid police departments in the entire state of New York and we lack proper retirement benefits. LEEBA is supposed to serve their members, but both contracts that LEEBA signed did not meet their members’ needs." Labor unions are supposed to have one simple function: represent their workers during negotiations with management and try to get the best deal possible. Kenneth Wynder and his cronies are unfortunately just the latest in a long tradition of union bosses who decided to make enriching themselves their No. 1 priority.

    Former Union President Admits Filing False Report to Hide Embezzlement; Agrees to Repay Union $36,000

    June 21, 2023 // Felix Luciano, the former President of Local 2805 chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees and former Department of Homeland Security officer, pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting he filed a false report to conceal his embezzlement of thousands of dollars in union dues. Local 2805 is a labor union which represents Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Additionally, Luciano agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and repay Local 2805 $36,000 as money that he embezzled. According to court records, Luciano was president of Local 2805. From January of 2016 to December of 2018, Luciano used some of Local 2805’s money for a variety of personal expenses, including shopping, travel reimbursements, groceries, dining, dry cleaning, and paying for non-union accounts. He did this by writing checks from Local 2805’s checking account and using Local 2805’s debit and credit cards to directly pay personal expenses. As a result of Luciano’s actions, he caused a total loss of $36,000 to Local 2805.

    A former Illinois State Senator convicted in corruption scheme gets a new job — state lobbyist

    May 10, 2023 // State records show Stragetia’s state government clients in the current legislative session are the city of Oakbrook Terrace, the village of Itasca, Americans for Fair Energy Prices, the Justice Grown cannabis dispensaries and SoundThinking — the recently rebranded company behind gunshot-detection software used by the Chicago Police Department. But in 2019, Cullerton was charged in a 41-count federal embezzlement and conspiracy indictment related to an alleged scam where he received payments from a Chicago labor union for little to no work. Cullerton was accused of receiving more than $274,000 in payments and benefits from Teamsters Joint Council 25 for being a purported union organizer. The indictment alleged Cullerton routinely did not show up for work with the union after he landed the lucrative gig from former Teamsters Joint Council 25 President John Coli Sr., who pleaded guilty to federal extortion and tax fraud charges in 2019.