New Yorker Admits $57,700 Theft

Nancy Barber pled guilty June 24 to one count of embezzling an estimated $57,769 from Int’l Assn. of Iron Workers Local 12 in Albany, N.Y. As the local’s primary bookkeeper between 1993-99, she regularly pocketed cash received by the union for dues and other payments, stealing money in small increments that went undetected for years. Allegedly, by a “check substitution scheme,” Barber used payments made with checks to cover the receipts issued for cash she stole. Barber quit her job in 1999, shortly before union bosses learned of the theft and notified federal officials.

Reportedly, Barber’s plea was the result of a ongoing investigation involving the FBI and the Dept. of Labor. The local’s former financial secy. and business agent, Michael Burns, who also is Albany County Democratic chairman, stepped down from the union post last year after the Local 12 leaders disclosed the federal investigation into the missing money. It appears that this investigation may be connected to the large IAIW probe that has led to nine indictment and seven guilty pleas on the intl. union level.

Barber was released without bail. U.S. Dist. Judge Lawrence Kahn (N.D.N.Y., Clinton) set sentencing for Oct. 16. She is expected to receive between five and sixteen months in prison, according to prosecutors. Local 12 represents workers in N.Y., Mass. and Vt. [Times Union (Albany) 6/25/02]