Ex-Secy.-Treasurer Confesses to Bank Fraud in Ohio Federal Court

Thomas M. Payne pled guilty on Feb. 28 to one count of bank fraud (18 U.S.C., Sec. 1344) in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Southern Dist. of Ohio, Western Division.  From March 1998 until his resignation on Sept. 1, 2000, Payne was Secy.-Treasurer of Local 1938 of the Amer. Fedtn. of Govt. Employees.  On nine occasions, he endorsed dues checks from members, then deposited less than the full amount of the checks at the Star Bank in South Point.

Payne also forged the signature of the Local president on checks made payable to himself.  To conceal the theft, he made false entries in the check stubs and used cancelled checks to create false duplicates of the checks he had cashed for himself.  In the plea agreement, the U.S. Attny. and Payne agreed that the total amount he fraudulently obtained was $12,184. [U.S.A.O. S.D. OH, OLMS 3/13/03]