Massachusetts Boss Gets 3 Months for Theft

William Ciepiela, ex-boss of the United Ass’n of Journeymen of the Plumbing & Pipe Fitting Indus. Local 151 in Pittsfield, Mass., was sentenced May 26 to three months in prison and three months of home detention for embezzling $92,000 from union member pensions, according U.S. Atty. Donald K. Stern’s statement. Ciepiela was ordered to pay restitution but was not fined. He pled guilty in Feb. and had faced ten years and a $500,000 fine. The boss transferred money from the union’s two ERISA plans to a general fund monthly from Jul. 1993-Dec. 1994. He then wrote checks to himself from the general fund. Stern said, “It is essential to protect workers’ health plans and retirement plans from abuse by those entrusted with administering them. Workers are entitled to expect that the funds, deposited on their behalf, will be available when needed.”