Buffalo Boss Makes Restitution to Pension Fund She Helped Clean Out

On June 21, Mrs. Ervolino was sentenced to a $5,000 fine on top of the $144,470 she had already paid back to the Hospital  & Nursing Home Council (HNHC) in Buffalo, NY.  She was also sentenced to one year probation and 150 hours of community service [U.S.D.C., W.D.N.Y.], and she agreed to a 13-year bar on employment by a union or union pension fund.  In exchange for her March 22 guilty plea and restitution, the U.S. Attny agreed to drop all remaining charges.  She specifically pled guilty to embezzling $1,513 from the HNHC to pay her husband’s life insurance premium.

The HNHC, now defunct thanks to the Ervolinos, was chartered by Local 4 of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees union (HERE), Local 168-39 of the Laundry & Dry Cleaning Union, and the Service Employees Intl. Union (SEIU).  Using the executive positions they held in HERE, the Laundry Union and the HNHC pension fund, the Ervolinos began embezzling from HNHC in 1990, ordering the issuance of checks into their personal accounts, sometimes labeling these checks as “severance pay,” or “loans” to the Laundry Union, and often forging the signature of another HNHC officer on the checks.  By 1996, the Ervolinos had dragged the HNHC’s assets from $196,512 in the black to $178,648 in the red.

In 1999, the court-appointed monitor of HERE concluded that Frank, Anna and their daughter embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from HERE Local 4 and the HNHC from 1990-95.  The Ervolinos “knew they were receiving full-time pay for less than full-time work and acted with fraudulent intent,” the report said. “Ervolino’s work habits consisted of arriving at his office at approximately 10 a.m., taking a 45-minute to an hour lunch period and leaving the office at approximately 2 p.m. or 3 p.m.” Reportedly, he also took month-long vacations to Fla., in which he worked on union matters an hour a day.