No Jail Time for California Extortionist

U.S. Dist. Judge Virginia A. Phillips (C.D. Cal., Clinton) sentenced Hank Van Heyningen, ex-president of Christian Labor Union Local 17 (Dairy Employees), to a mere 36 months probation and 300 hours of community service for extorting money from workers for job referrals. He faced up to 20 years in prison. Phillips also ordered Van Heyningen to pay $100 restitution and a $2,500 fine. The boss of the Chino, Cal., union pled guilty to one federal count of extortion on Oct. 23. He admitted to regularly extorting money for 10 years. A member who received a full-time job with regular daylight hours was charged $800 to $1,500. [DOL 1/7/02; USAO C.D. Cal. 10/23/01]

Ohio Boss Admits $142,700 Scheme
On Jan. 28, Richard Adams, ex-treasurer of Int’l Ass’n of Fire Fighters Local 639 in Parma, Ohio, pled guilty to a federal bank fraud charge for a scheme to deprive the union of $142,715.78. Sentencing is scheduled for Apr. 10 before U.S. Dist. Judge Donald C. Nugent (N.D. Ohio, Clinton). [DOL 1/28/02; Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 1/30/02]

Louisiana Boss Admits $91,400 Theft (information added 3/6/02)
Willie R. Walker, ex-secretary-treasurer of the Int’l Longshoremen’s Ass’n Local 1349 in Lake Charles, La., pled guilty Jan. 25 to a one-count indictment charging him with embezzling $91,423 in union funds. He was indicted Nov. 16 on the one embezzlement count and one count of falsifying union records. Sentencing is scheduled for Apr. 9 before U.S. Dist. Judge Tucker L. Melançon (W.D. La., Clinton).

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the W. Dist. of La., Walker used the embezzled funds for various personal items and the the thefts occurred in small amounts over a long period of time.  Also, the thefts were allegedly accomplished through misuse of union checks for fictitious union expenses and he allegedly made out the checks to himself. [DOL 1/25/02; USAO W.D. La. 2/25/02]

Green Bay Boss Accused of Embezzling $61,500
David Dobry, ex-secretary-treasurer of Int’l Bhd. of Boilermakers Lodge 177 in Green Bay, was indicted Feb. 5 on one count of embezzling $61,510, one count of filing a false financial report with the Dep’t of Labor, and one count of destruction of union records. [DOL 2/5/02]

Phoenix Boss Charged with Theft
In the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Court, Mary K. Johnson, ex-treasurer of Am. Fed’n of Gov’t Employees Local 2552, was charged Jan. 29 in a criminal complaint with knowingly converting between  $25,000 and $100,000 with the intent to deprive the local of those funds. The Phoenix-based local serves the Dep’t of Veteran’s Affairs. [DOL 1/29/02]

Georgia Boss Indicted for Stealing $16,000
On Jan. 22, Carey McClure, ex-secretary-treasurer of Int’l Ass’n of Machinists Lodge 2731 in Hampton, Ga., was indicted on one count of embezzling $16,917.13 in union funds and one count of failure to maintain union financial records. [DOL 1/22/02]

Atlanta Boss Allegedly Stole $7,400
Ricky Sanders, ex-business manager of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers Local 136 in Atlanta, was indicted Jan. 22 on one count of embezzling $7,433.51 from the local. [DOL 1/22/02]

“The only time I hear from those guys is when they want my money. I shouldn’t have to ask the union what’s going on; they should be telling me.”

– Chuck Biel, Member, Am. Fed’n of Musicians Local 136, Charleston, W. Va., discussing the bosses of his local. [Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette 1/24/02]