Northern Illinois Boss Charged with $353,000 Theft

Charles C. Isely, III, ex-president and treasurer of the Int’l Employees Welfare Union was indicted Dec. 19 on one count of embezzlement and three counts of mail fraud. He allegedly embezzled $353,000 from the Waukegan, Ill.-based union, which he founded and ran from 1974 to 1998. He allegedly wrote 30 fraudulent checks totaling $225,000 from IEWU’s death trust fund. He also allegedly wrote another 40 checks for $108,000 on IEWU’s bank accounts. The checks were allegedly routed to Isely’s bank accounts and used for personal expenses. Further, Isely allegedly obtained a $20,000 bank loan under the union’s name and reportedly deposited it in his personal bank account. The alleged crimes occurred in 1994-98.

Uniquely, Isley was also the president of the Lake County (Ill.) Chamber of Commerce. He held that post since 1974 but resigned in 1998 after the Dep’t of Labor’s probe of his union activities became public. His wife, Patricia, IEWU’s ex-vice president and secretary, was not charged. Both resigned in Mar. 1998. In Nov. 1998, Isley and his wife filed for bankruptcy and claimed outstanding debts to IEWU. [Chi. Daily Herald 12/22/01; Chi. Trib. 12/20/01]