William Lane pled guilty on Dec. 16 to stealing $13,500 from a Fargo, ND union. He was a welder at a tractor plant when members of Local Lodge 2525 of the Intl. Assn. of Machinists (IAM) elected him vice president in Oct. 1999. He later became acting president of the Local. Between Oct. 30, 2000 and April 30, 2001, he wrote checks to himself on the union’s account and falsified records to cover up his theft. Lane told U.S. District Judge Rodney Webb (ND, Reagan) that he was going through a “nasty divorce” and started stealing from the union to pay for drugs.
In addition to the $13,500 in fraudulent union checks, Lane cashed a union check for $2,850 at a credit union on April 25, 2001, knowing that the union’s checking acct. had been closed. Asst. U.S. Attny. Keith Reisenauer said that the govt. will seek $16,350 in restitution. Lane ran from Fargo after other union officials questioned him about the union’s financial records. He was indicted on Feb. 12, 2003, and arrested in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Oct. 23. He will be sentenced on Feb. 4. [Fargo Forum, 12/17/03]