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]

Californian Sentenced for $42,400 Theft
U.S. Dist. Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton (N.D. Cal., Clinton) sentenced Robin Neither June 12 to six months home confinement with electronic monitoring and five years probation and ordered to her make full restitution of $42,487. Neither is an ex-bookkeeper for Int’l Longshoremen & Warehousemen Union Local 10 in San Francisco and had previously pled guilty. She was indicted Oct. 16 for embezzling union funds for personal use, and falsifying official union records. She made false entries in the local’s payroll register which was used to provide false information to the Dep’t of Labor. [DOL 6/12/01; USAO N.D. Cal. 11/7/01]

Texas Boss Indicted for $30,200 Theft
On June 5, the U.S. Atty. for the W. Dist. of Tex. indicted Michael Van Bibber, ex-business manager and financial secretary of Int’l Ass’n of Heat & Frost Insulators & Asbestos Workers Local 87 in San Antonio. According to USAO Public Affairs Officer Darryl Field, Van Bibber allegedly embezzled $30,261 in union funds between Aug. 6, 1997 and Aug. 31, 1999. [USAO W.D. Tex. 6/13/02; OLMS 6/5/02]

New Jersey Boss: 13 Months for $23,000 Theft
U.S. Dist. Judge Joel A. Pisano (D.N.J., Clinton) sentenced Stephen Burks, ex-comptroller of Am. Fed’n of State, County, & Mun. Employees Council 71 in Williamstown, N.J., June 11 to thirteen months in prison. He also fined Burks $2,000. Burks was indicted May 15, 2001 and pled guilty Mar. 4 to embezzling more than $23,000 from Sept. 1997 to Jan. 1999. He previously made restitution of $24,000. The local was within the jurisdiction of federal anti-union-corruption laws because it represented employees at private sector nursing homes. [DOL 6/11/02; USAO D.N.J. 3/18/02]

Phoenix Boss Admits $26,500 Theft
On June 3, in the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Criminal Court, M. Katherine Johnson, ex-secretary-treasurer of Am. Fed’n of Gov’t Employees Local 2552, pled guilty to one count of attempted theft. Per the plea agreement, and subject to the pre-sentencing investigation and the sentencing judge’s approval, she will be placed on probation and pay restitution of $26,516.  She was indicted by a local grand jury on Feb. 27 knowingly converting between  $25,000 and $100,000 from the local.  The Phoenix-based local serves the Dep’t of Veteran’s Affairs. [DOL 6/3/02]

Washington Staffer Admits $15,600 Theft
U.S. Dist. Judge Franklin D. Burgess (W.D. Wash., Clinton) sentenced Geri E. Abbe, June 7 to two months of home confinement with electronic monitoring, 200 hours of community service, and five years probation. She embezzled $15,691 from the Ass’n of Western Pulp & Paper Workers Local 5 in Camas, Wash. Abbe previously paid $14,754 in restitution and pled guilty on Mar. 22.
According to her plea agreement, between Feb. 1998 and June 2001, Abbe was Local 5’s office secretary and her duties included filling out payroll vouchers. On sixteen occasions she embezzled funds through bogus payroll claims. For example, on Feb. 18, 1998, she submitted a payroll voucher in which sought pay for 70 hours of work during the one-week period ending on that date. However, in truth, she worked only 35 hours during that period. After securing an local official’s signature, Abbe issued the fraudulent check to herself. She embezzled $14,245 via this scheme.

Additionally, on Apr. 26, 1999, without authorization, Abbe gave herself a one-cent per hour raise, and on Apr. 3, 2000, without authorization, she gave herself a three percent raise. As a result, between Apr. 26, 1999 and June 1, 2001 (when she was terminated) Local 5 paid her $1,446 to which she was not entitled. Abbe was the local’s secretary for 32 years. [DOL 6/7/02; Oregonian 6/13/02; USAO W.D. Wash. 3/22/02]

Kentucky Boss Sentenced for $14,400 Theft
U.S. Dist. Judge Jennifer B. Coffman (E&W.D. Ky., Clinton) sentenced Raymond F. Pendygraft, ex-financial secretary of Am. Flint Glass Workers Union Local 1009 in Danville, Ky., June 6 to five years probation, including six months home incarceration with electronic monitoring. Coffman also ordered him to pay full restitution of $14,419.23 along with the costs of monitoring.  Pendygraft pled guilty to embezzling union funds Feb. 20. [DOL 6/12/02; USAO E.D. Ky. 2/20/02]