On Sept. 18, Clyde L. Spearman, former president of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1206, was indicted in the U.S. Ct. for the Northern Dist. of California, on two counts of bank fraud. The indictment stated that between Sept. 1998 and May 2001, Spearman embezzled approximately $15,000 in union funds by writing unauthorized checks against the unions bank account. Spearman served as president of the Martinez, California Local from early 1997 until March 2001, when he was suspended for financial misconduct. In December 2001, following an internal AFGE proceeding, Spearman was removed from office and barred from membership for 13 years. The current indictment follows a joint investigation by the San Francisco branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards and the Veterans Affairs Departments Inspector Generals Office. [OLMS, 9/25/03]
Ex-Missouri President Sentenced for Falsification
On Sept. 18, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Eastern District of Missouri, Nicholas J. Torpea, frmr. president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 was sentenced to three years probation and fined $2,000 for making a false statement to an investigator with the U.S. Dept. of Labor. A condition of probation requires Torpea to serve three months of home confinement under the surveillance of electronic monitoring. Torpea pled guilty on July 1, 2003, following an investigation by the St. Louis branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 9/25/03]
Ex-Bus. Mgr. Confesses to Theft in Minn. Court
On Sept. 16, in the Dist. Ct. for St. Louis County (Minnesota), Thomas Pender, ex-bus. mgr. and fin. secy. of Local 1097 of the Laborers Intl. Union of N. Amer., pled guilty to one count of felony theft. On April 7, this yr., Pender was charged with one count of theft of $7,000 in union funds and one count of financial transaction card fraud involving $167 in union funds. The charges were brought following an investigation by the Minneapolis branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 9/25/03]
Ex-Treasurer Pleads Guilty in Md. Federal Court
On Sept. 15, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Dist. of Md., Efrain C. Tulier, ex-secy. and treasurer of the Communications Workers of America Local 2185, pled guilty to one count of embezzlement. The plea was based on the indictment amount of $13,467. The plea follows an investigation by the Washington D.C. branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 9/25/03]
Ex-Texas Asst. Pleads Guilty to Criminal Contempt
On Sept. 5, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Southern Dist. of Texas, Neil Babineaux, ex-asst. to the asst. vice president of the United Transportation Union, pled guilty to a charge of criminal contempt. He was indicted on April 3, on charges of obstruction of justice and making false declarations to a federal grand jury. Following the guilty plea, Babineaux was sentenced to six months home confinement, two years probation and a $3,000 fine. These charges follow a joint investigation by the New Orleans branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards, the Department of Labors Office of Inspector General and the FBI. [OLMS, 9/25/03]
Former Bus. Mgr. Agrees to Plead Guilty in Indiana Fed. Ct.
On September 10, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Darvin Collins, former business manager of IBEW Local 16 in Evansville, Indiana, filed a petition to enter a plea of guilty and plea agreement. Under the agreement, Collins agreed to plead guilty to two counts of embezzling $26,804 in union funds; Collins must also make full restitution to the union. The remaining two counts of the indictment charging Collins with falsification of union records will be dismissed. Collins was indicted on May 22, 2002, following a joint investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office and the FBI.
Ex-Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement in Penn. Federal Court
On Sept. 4, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Eastern Dist. of Penn., Percella Roper, ex-bookkeeper of Transport Workers Local 234 pled guilty to an information charging her with one count of embezzlement and aiding and abetting in the embezzlement of $98,132.00 in union funds.
The information stated that Roper (1) deposited $50,058 in union funds into a savings account that she kept at the TWU Credit Union, (2) converted $2,458 in union funds to pay union dues for herself and other union clerical employees, (3) assisted a TWU Local 234 officer in the embezzlement of $26,935 from Local 234 picnics, and (4) assisted the same officer in the embezzlement of $18,681 in cash receipts for sales of union clothing. Charges were filed on June 10 following a joint investigation by the FBI and the Philadelphia branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 9/17/03]
Ex-Union Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement, Falsification in Wyo. Federal Ct.
On Aug. 25, in U.S. Dist. Ct. for Wyoming, Douglas W. Rodda, frmr. secy. and treasurer of the Locomotive Engineers, Division 245, pled guilty to a 3-count information charging him with embezzling $26,150 in union funds, willfully making false entries in union records, and making false statements in a report required to be filed with the Secretary of Labor. Rodda wrote checks payable to himself and his wife for fraudulent expenses and concealed the checks from other union officials. The charges were brought following an investigation by the Denver branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 9/17/03]
Ex-Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement in NM Fed. Court
On Aug. 23, in the U.S. Dist. Court for New Mexico, Elizabeth Martin, ex-bookkeeper and ofc. secy. for both the New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council and Iron Workers Local 495 OF THE Intl. Assn. of Iron Wrkrs., pled guilty to a one-count information charging her with embezzling $68,743 in union funds.
She embezzled $57,143 from the New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council by taking cash advances, charging personal expenses to the union credit card, and writing and tendering unauthorized checks to herself and third parties. Also, Martin embezzled $11,600 from Iron Workers Local 495 by taking cash receipts and writing and tendering unauthorized checks to the Trades Council. The charges were brought following an investigation by the Denver branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 9/17/03]