Illinois Boss Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $13,000

Wesley J. Sharp, ex-financial secretary-treasurer of Paper, Allied-Indus., Chem. & Energy Workers Int’l Union Local 647 in Des Plaines, Ill., pled guilty May 6 to a one-count of embezzling $13,062.86 in union funds. According to the plea agreement, Sharp wrote 53 unauthorized checks on the local’s checking account between Mar. 1, 1996 and Dec. 29, 1997 totaling $13,062.86. Each check required two signatures of union officers.  On 49 checks, Sharp forged the signature of a second  union officer before negotiating the check. On the other four checks, he simply left off the second signature but was still able to cash the check. He made all the checks payable to himself and converted the union’s funds to his personal use.

Of the embezzled amount, $9,362.86 remains outstanding. Sharp agreed to reimburse $5,000 to Local 647’s corruption insurance company, Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Md. He also agreed to make further restitution of $4,362.86 to Local 647.  U.S. Dist. Judge William J. Hibbler (N.D. Ill., Clinton) set sentencing for July 29. [USAO N.D. Ill. 5/9/02; DOL 5/6/02]