The ex-office secy. for Local 3 of the Bricklayers Intl. Union pled guilty on Dec. 23 to embezzling over $200,000. Amanda Kemmer entered her plea in the U.S. Dist. Court for the Sou. Dist. of IA. She was employed as Local 3’s ofc. secy. from June 1997 through April 2004. Kemmer had full responsibility for maintaining the local’s financial records including check stubs, disbursement and receipt ledgers, monthly financial reports and payroll records. She was also responsible for collecting dues and other receipts, issuing duplicate receipts, and making deposits.
According to the plea agreement, Kemmer falsified her pay stub, which remained attached to her paycheck when signed by the local’s officers. She did so by failing to include her hourly rate on the stubs, and falsified the amount of withholding to hide her unauthorized increase in salary. By these means, Kemmer stole $17,885. After she became eligible for the union’s pension in 1999, Kemmer received $2,576 in extra pension payments by inflating her gross salary.
Starting in 2000, Kemmer wrote 54 unauthorized checks from the local’s general fund, payable to herself, totaling $167,789,3l. During that time, Kemmer also wrote unauthorized checks from the local’s mortuary fund, payable to herself, totaling $6,925. Kemmer either changed the name of the payee after local officers signed the check, forged the officers’ signatures, misused the Secy.-Treasurer’s signature stamp, or used a bogus or non-existent officer as a co-signature.
From January, 2002 through April 2004, Kemmer embezzled $14,207 in Local 3 cash receipts. The local’s Secy.-Treasurer and Apprenticeship Coordinator collected monthly dues, initiation fees and other miscellaneous receipts from members either at union meetings or in the field. All monies so collected were recorded on a handwritten duplicate receipt, noting whether the payment was by cash or check. These funds were then given to Kemmer, for deposit into the local’s general fund. A comparison between the duplicate receipts and the actual cash deposited revealed a shortage of $14,207.50, which Kemmer took for her personal use. Kemmer was not authorized or entitled to withhold these cash receipts.
Kemmer was charged based on an investigation by the St. Louis Dist. Ofc. of the U.S. Office of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 1-29-05]