Accounting Firm’s Contract with Union Allegedly Depended on Its Willingness to Cover Up Corruption

The similarities between the Enron-Authur Andersen scandal and the Iron Workers-Thomas Havey scandal continue to grow. The Dep’t of Labor has released new information about the June 4 guilty plea of Alfred S. Garappolo, a partner in the union accounting firm of Thomas Havey LLP, to two felony counts arising from a growing criminal probe into the Int’l Ass’n of Iron Workers and its related funds. First, he confessed to being an accessory after the fact to embezzlement from an employee benefit plan in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3. He pled guilty to assisting Kerry J. Tresselt, a bookkeeper and daughter of ex-IAIW vice-president Raymond J. Robertson, in order to hinder or prevent her apprehension, trial, and punishment for her embezzlement from the union training fund. Tresselt pled guilty in Nov. 2001 to embezzling $350,000.

Second and more importantly, Garappolo admitted to concealing and covering up a material fact in a matter within DOL’s jurisdiction in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Here is the new and shocking information. Garappolo admitted to knowingly and willfully concealing and failing to disclose to DOL agents statements made at a Sept. 1992 meeting by IAIW’s ex-general counsel Victor Van Bourg to IAIW’s ex-president and current president emeritus Jacob “Jake” West. Allegedly, Van Bourg told West that the Havey firm should be replaced if Havey accountants did not assist the scheme to underreport and conceal the true nature and amount of the union’s disbursements for its officers on the union’s annual financial report (LM-2) filed with DOL.

Further, the plea agreement documents charge that after the meeting, Havey accountants aided and assisted in the preparation of union reports that concealed the true amount of union disbursements for IAIW bosses West, LeRoy Worley, and James E. Cole. West and Worley ex-IAIW general secretary, are awaiting trial on assorted union corruption charges. West has also been linked to the Ullico, Inc., insider trading scandal.

Cole, also an ex-IAIW general secretary, pled guilty in June 2001 to embezzling more than $10,000. He allegedly used union funds for a Scotland vacation, a high school reunion trip, and anniversary flowers for his wife. Also, Cole allegedly arranged for BSORIW to pay for country club memberships that he and his wife often used for personal use. In total, nine individuals have been indicted and seven have pled guilty in the IAIW scandal to date. [DOL 6/4/02]

International Boss Allegedly Padded Pension
On June 3, the U.S. Atty.’s Office in D.C. unsealed a May 17 indictment which charged LeRoy Worley, ex-IAIW general secretary, with embezzling more than $37,000 from an employee benefit fund in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 664.  Worley reportedly resigned and retired when he was 58 and had worked between 17 and 18 years for IAIW. However, he was allegedly paid a full pension from the Iron Workers Staff Retirement Pension Fund as if he had retired at age 60 and as if he had worked 20 years for IAIW. The indictment further charged that his annual salary preceding his retirement was about $152,000, yet he was paid a pension as if his annual salary preceding retirement had been $169,184. Worley is one of nine individuals indicted in the federal probe of the union and its related funds. Seven have already pled guilty. Worley is awaiting trial as is IAIW president emeritus Jacob “Jake” West. [DOL 6/3/02]