Fallout from Embezzlement Scandal Hits Law & Accounting Firms

The law and accounting firms whose partners assisted officials of the Intl. Assn. of Iron Wrkrs. (IAIW) in their massive embezzlement are now paying the price.  In an agreement deferring prosecution by the U.S. Attny’s. Ofc. for Washington, D.C., the law firm has agreed to drop the name of the founding partner, the late Victor Van Bourg, who helped hide the embezzlement of some $1.5 million in the 1990s.  The accounting firm of Thomas Havey, LLC, whose partners also concealed the embezzlement, broke up in January with a new firm, Legacy Professionals, retaining its other numerous union clients.

Van Bourg was General Counsel of the IAIW in 1992 when Jake West became its president.  For the next six years, Van Bourg helped West and other officials in the union’s Washington, D.C. headquarters hide their theft of over $1.5 million from the union to pay for dining, golfing and other entertainment expenses.  He also helped facilitate the payment of pensions to West and frmr. General Secy. LeRoy Worley to which they were not entitled.  Two partners in the Havey accounting firm have pled guilty to filing false disclosure forms with the U.S. Dept. of Labor, by classifying the personal expenses in categories that were not required to be itemized.

In addition to removing Van Bourg’s name from the firm he founded, the firm now known as Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld will write all of their union clients.  They will inform the unions of Van Bourg’s illegal conduct, and remind them of their obligation to report all direct and indirect payments to union officers and employees, and to individually list those payments.  The attnys. also recommend that unions go back and refile their disclosure forms if they had not accurately reported their payments to officers and employees. [U.S.A.O. D.C., 5/2/03]