New Hampshire Boss Guilty of $124,000 Theft

A “longtime labor activist” pled guilty in U.S. Dist. Court in New Hampshire Nov. 27 to stealing funds from the N.H. AFL-CIO while he was secretary-treasurer. Daniel P. Courchesne pled guilty to one count of mail and wire fraud. Federal investigators accused Courchesne of taking about $124,597 from the N.H. AFL-CIO between 1995 and 2000. Some of those funds were repaid, but remainder was used to pay his personal expenses.

Courchesne, who also is an ex- agent of the N. New Eng. Council of Carpenters, admitted to depositing into his account checks payable to the N.H. AFL-CIO. He also admitted to using a signature stamp without authorization to draw checks against the union’s account for his personal benefit.

Mark MacKenzie, N.H. AFL-CIO president, said the chapter cooperated fully in the investigation after it alerted the U.S. Atty.’s Office in June of “problems in record filings” discovered during an internal audit. The chapter is bonded and will recover all the money that was lost, he said. He estimated the chapter is still owed about $50,000. The funds came from the per-capita tax local unions pay to the N.H. AFL-CIO. “It’s caused us to look at a lot of things,” MacKenzie said. “We have a whole separate accounting policy in place that really stiffens things up.” [Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.) 11/28/00]