Boss Sentenced for Embezzlement

A former Local 478 Teamsters boss in Newark, N.J. was sentenced Sep. 22 to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $25,000 restitution for embezzling more than $30,000 from the union. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Joan Pribelzsky embezzled from the union’s general operating account and made false entries into the union’s books to disguise the thefts. She pled guilty May 1 to both charges. In Jun. 1994, Pribelzsky, without authorization, applied for a credit card under the union’s name and went on an 18-month shopping spree charging about $20,000 at places like Disney World, Victoria’s Secret and on the QVC channel, according court records. Pribelszky removed her charges from monthly statements so the union saw only their charges. She then had checks made out for false expenditures that she used to pay her credit card charges. She also stole $10,000 in cash of which $5,000 covered pending bankruptcy expenses.

New Jersey Kickback Agent gets Probation
An insurance agency owner was sentenced to 3 years probation Sep. 25 for his role in a bribery and kickback scheme involving an ex-president of Teamsters Local 125 in Totowa, N.J. A U.S. Dist. Judge also ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine and $9,000 in restitution. Donald W. Purk pled guilty in Mar. 1996 to paying $9,000 to ex-Teamsters boss Charles V. Giordano, who had the union buy $300,000 in insurance annuities from Purk in 1991. Purk worked with prosecutors and was the case’s fifth and final vendor to plead guilty. Giordano just ended a 20-month prison term after he pled guilty to taking $370,000 in kickbacks and embezzling about $15,000 from the local. Giordano and other bosses were ousted after the scandal broke in 1994. [Bergen County Record 9/26/98]