Ex-Employee Admits Stealing $1 Million from CA State Union

Gail S. Jones admitted on Aug. 1 to stealing nearly $1 million from the Calif. State Employees Assn. (CSEA) to cover her gambling habit.  For 11 years, Jones handled cash mgmt., investments and bank reconciliations for the CSEA in the state capital of Sacramento.  Beginning in 1997, Jones admitted to Sacramento detectives and an FBI agent, she manufactured more than 200 CSEA checks and diverted the cash to her personal accnt.  She blew all the money at casinos in Calif. and Nev. until her retirement on June 1 this year.  She pled guilty to 11 counts of computer fraud before U.S. Dist. Judge Garland E. Burrell. Jr., who scheduled her sentencing for Oct. 17. [Sacramento Bee, 8/3/03]

Mass. Local President Indicted For Embezzlement

U.S. Attny. Michael J. Sullivan (D. Mass.) and Mark Letizi, Dist. Director of the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards (OLMS) announced on Aug. 5 that 27-yr.-old David Westgate was indicted on 68 counts of union embezzlement.

The indictment alleges that Westgate, while serving as president of United Auto Workers Local 168 in New Bedford, issued 61 checks from the bank account of Local 168 made payable to himself, without the authorization of the union. The indictment also alleges that on five occasions, Westgate issued checks made payable to himself that were purportedly signed by the union’s Financial Secy.-Treasurer.  According to the indictment, Westgate also issued a check to his wife and caused an electronic fund transfer from the Local 168 bank account to Town Fair Tire of North Dartmouth, Massachusetts as payment for new tires and tire service for his 2001 GMC Sonoma pickup truck, all without the authorization of Local 168.  In total, the indictment alleges that Westgate embezzled over $30,000 in funds from Local 168.

If convicted, Westgate faces up to 5 years of imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on each count.  The case was investigated by the OLMS.  It is being prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attny.  Theodore D. Chuang in Sullivan’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit. [U.S.A.O., D. Mass., 8/5/03]