A federal grand jury in Philadelphia returned a 21-count indictment Feb. 13 charging Kendall Williams with theft of union funds, theft from a union health and welfare fund, failure to keep required records, and failure to file required reports with the Dep’t of Labor. The alleged thefts totaled $50,983.84. Williams is the president of the independent PNI Security Union, which represents the security officers at the facilities of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.
Between 1997-99, Williams allegedly embezzled approximately $29,683.84 from the PNI Security Union Health & Welfare Fund by falsely claiming that another union member, L. Zane, would join him in traveling to benefit plan administration conferences put on by the Int’l Fdn. of Employee Benefit Plans. After obtaining funds for the bogus expenses (conference fees, preconference fees, air transportation, lodging, lost wages, and per diem expenses), he deposited the Fund’s checks into the union’s checking account and then withdrew that money for his own personal use.
Also, he sought and received refunds from IFEBP for preconference programs that he did not attend. He did the same for Zane’s unused conference and preconference fees. However, he did not return the refund checks to Fund. He deposited them into the union’s checking account and withdrew that money for his personal use. Six conferences were involved: Las Vegas, Stateline, Pa. (2), Vancouver (2), and Washington, D.C.
Even more outrageous, Williams allegedly obtained a $2,500 check from the Fund in Feb. 2000 that was meant to be paid to the widow of a recently deceased union member. According to the indictment, he never gave that check to the widow. Instead, he deposited the check in the union’s checking account on June 8, 2000, and on June 9, he withdrew the money for his personal use.
Further, Williams allegedly embezzled union monies by taking an unauthorized salary between 1997-2000, totaling about $18,800. Finally, Williams allegedly failed to keep proper records of union finances between 1997-99 and failed to timely file required financial reports with DOL for the years 1996-99. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 77 years imprisonment, 3 years supervised release, a $4,200,000 fine, a $2,100 special assessment, and restitution. [USAO E.D. Pa. 2/12/02; Phil. Inquirer 2/13/02]