Janett Humphries, the former Service Employees International Union official in Los Angeles accused of embezzlement and perjury, has pleaded not guilty. She’s facing a pair of court visits on federal and local charges. As president of SEIU Local 99 during 2002-03, Humphries allegedly stole more than $80,000 in union funds. Well over $30,000 of that money went for the election campaign of former Los Angeles City Councilman Martin Ludlow under the listing of payroll and cell phone expenses. She also embezzled union funds for travel expenses for children and friends. Humphries is scheduled for trial in the federal case July 25; she’s due back to face local charges on August 16. Ludlow already has pleaded guilty in federal court for his participation in the scheme, and in June received five years probation, and was ordered to serve 2,000 hours of community service and make restitution in the amount of $36,400. (City News Service, 6/21/06).
Connecticut Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
Michael Iasevoli liked to hit the casinos. He thought his union wouldn’t find out the origins of the money he lost. But Lady Luck caught up with him. On June 19, Iasevoli, 40, a former officer of Local 745 of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union, pleaded guilty in federal court in New Haven to embezzling from his union. As the local’s acting financial secretary, he had opened a bank account in its name, depositing $147,985 in dues checks and personal funds. From November 2000 to June 2004 he embezzled about $138,000 of that money, making several hundred withdrawals from remote locations. Sentencing is scheduled for September 19. (Hartford Courant, 6/20/06).
Ex-Secretary in Illinois Sentenced for Theft
On May 31, Loretta Schween, a former clerical employee of United Auto Workers Region 4, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, to three years probation, six months of which would have to be spent in home detention wearing an electronic bracelet, for theft from her union. She also was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $32,040 and to pay a $100 special assessment. UAW Region 4 is based in Lincolnshire, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 6/23/06).
Former President of Arizona Local Pleads Guilty to Theft
On June 8, Josefina Suarez, former president of Local 1662 of the American Federation of Government Employees, pled guilty in federal court to one count of embezzling union funds. She also must make restitution of up to $27,400. Suarez had been indicted in October 2004 on 67 counts of embezzlement. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the Labor Department. AFGE Local 1662 represents employees of the Brown & Root Logistics facility at Fort Huachuca Army base in Arizona, not far from Tucson. (OLMS, 6/23/06).
Rochester, N.Y. Local Chieftain Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
On June 12, Lynn R. Lanphear, former president of Graphic Communications International Union Local 503-M, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to embezzling $8,441 in union funds. Mr. Lanphear, who headed the local during 1995-2003, converted union funds to his own use by receiving duplicate reimbursements from general and training funds. The GCIU is an affiliate of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Local 503-M represents employees at Hammer Lithograph Corp. in Rochester. (OLMS, 6/23/06; Justice Department, 6/12/06).
Former Wisconsin President Charged with Theft
On June 6, Felix A. Robinson, former president of International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers (IUE) Local 84101, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin with one count of embezzling $5,684 in local funds. IUE is the industrial division of the Communications Workers of America. (OLMS, 6/23/06).