California Embezzler Gets One Year for $210,000 Theft

U.S. Dist. Judge Dean D. Pregerson in L.A. sentenced Teresa E. Sanchez, admitted union embezzler, May 24 to twelve months at a federal community confinement center and ordered her to pay more than $210,000 in restitution to Int’l Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 20A in Wilmington, Cal. Indicted in July 2000, Sanchez pled guilty in Dec. 2000 to three counts of embezzling union funds and two counts of falsifying union records. She was the local’s financial secretary from 1988-99. The Dep’t of Labor’s Office of Labor-Mgmt. Stnds. in L.A. and Office of the Inspector Gen. found that from 1993-99 Sanchez cashed 168 union checks. She also signed an unauthorized union check to her daughter for $2,000. She concealed the embezzlement by falsifying monthly reports. Sanchez begins her sentence July 23. [OLMS Media Release 5/25/01]

Wisconsin Gambler Accused of $40,000 Embezzlement
H. Jeannine Selvaag, bookkeeper for the S. Cent. (Wis.) Fed’n of Labor, was charged May 22 with embezzling almost $40,000 from the union federation. She stole the money from SCFL bank accounts in 1998-99, including proceeds from the SCFL’s Labor Day picnic, according to the criminal complaint. She told Madison police that she used much of the money for gambling, drinking, and house payments. Selvaag, who worked for SCFL for about 30 years, will make an initial appearance in Dane County Circuit Court on June 4. SCFL is an umbrella group for 75 Wis. unions.

James Cavanaugh, SCFL president, told police that the shortages came to light in Dec. 1999 after it was found that some of SCFL’s bills had not been paid. He confronted Selvaag three times and each time, she assured him she would take care of them. Cavanaugh and SCFL’s treasurer then found an apparent pattern of missing funds. He then spoke to Selvaag again on Dec. 28, 1999, when she allegedly admitted to taking less than $4,000 over the preceding months. She was then fired.

A Madison accounting firm found $39,254 missing from three SCFL accounts. Much of the money taken consisted of checks cashed with Selvaag’s hand-written endorsement. Some was also taken as cash at the time funds were deposited. Selvaag told police that she took the 1999 Labor Day picnic cash, put it in her freezer, and used most of it for gambling. She said that in 1998-99 she gambled several days a week and drank heavily. [Wis. State J. 5/23/01]