North Dakota Boss Gets No Jail Time for $37,000 Theft

U.S. Dist. Judge Patrick A. Conmy (D.N.D., Reagan) ordered union boss Bryan D. Kroh to three years of probation on Sept. 6, the first six months of which he is to be confined to his home. Kroh embezzled $37,368.52 from the Bhd. of Locomotive Eng’rs. He has allegedly repaid most of the stolen union funds but still owes the union $5,982.52. Kroh pled guilty to embezzlement in June. Reportedly, the crime occurred while he was serving as secretary-treasurer, an officer and employee of BLE. He admitted writing unauthorized checks to himself and his wife, Dinah, and numerous checks to vendors and a bank from Jan. 1996 to Mar. 1999.

Despite Bryan’s 1991 felony conviction on one count of federal tax evasion, prosecutors only recommended a nine month prison term on the current embezzlement charge. He received three years probation for the tax crime. The maximum penalty for union embezzlement is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, Conmy only restricted Kroh to his Pick City, N.D., home except for several exceptions including any business travel required by his employer. Conmy said it would be simply spite to send Kroh to prison, and a waste of a valuable prison bed, for this nonviolent crime. “This is an economic crime,” he said. Conmy said his position was that it would be better for Kroh to be employed and paying back the money.

Also, as part of Kroh’s plea on the embezzlement charge, a second charge of giving false statements was dropped. The U.S. Atty.’s Office also filed charges against Dinah for union embezzlement and aiding and abetting. However, Conmy dismissed an indictment against Dinah. Both Krohs asserted that Dinah knew nothing about the union embezzlement. [Bismarck Trib. 9/7/01]