For seven years Alan Raines thought he could outsmart his union. Then reality caught up. Raines, financial secretary for Local 1358 of the United Steelworkers, recently was charged in Detroit federal court with embezzlement and bank fraud. During 1999-2006, say federal prosecutors, Raines stole nearly $275,000 in funds from the 300-member Southfield, Mich. union, forging a third-party name on union checks, and using the proceeds to pay for personal expenses. (Detroit News, 5/14/07).
NYC Union Member Sentenced for Role in Racketeering Scam
On April 18, Leonard Capozzoli, a member of International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1 in New York City, was sentenced in federal court to three years probation for his role in a massive ghost-worker and fraud scheme in New York City-area high-rise construction projects that wound up netting dozens of guilty pleas from union officials, members, contractors and mobsters. He pleaded guilty back in March 2002 to a variety of conspiracy charges. Capozzoli also will have to pay more than $75,000 in restitution and a $200 special assessment. The union since has agreed to be placed under the supervision of a federal monitor. The sentencing is the result of a joint probe by the Labor Department, the FBI and the IRS. (OLMS, 5/7/07).
Former Employee of Kansas Union Indicted for Embezzlement
On April 18, Kelli-Tyrell-Moore, a former employee of the Kansas Nursing Association, was indicted in U.S. District Court on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $63,397.16. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/7/07).
Texas Local Secretary Indicted for Thefts, False Record-Keeping
On April 18, Judy A. Thurman, former treasurer of Federated Independent Texas Union Local 900, based in Fort Worth, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on 13 counts of embezzling $44,462 in union funds and six counts of willful falsification of union records. The indictment follows an investigation by the Department of Labor. (OLMS, 5/7/07).
Ex-Pennsylvania Local Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement
On April 23, Thomas P. Obzut, formerly secretary-treasurer of Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU) Local 735S, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to two years probation, the first six months under house arrest, for his embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $21,099.17. He already has made restitution, but will have to pay a $500 fine and a $100 special assessment, and must undergo counseling for gambling addiction. The GCIU has been affiliated with the Teamsters since January 2005. (OLMS, 5/7/07).
Clerk for Las Vegas Local Sentenced for Theft
On April 24, Tiffany Stone (Huntsman), former dues clerk of Sheet Metal Workers Local 88, was sentenced in the Justice Court of Las Vegas Township for Clark County, Nevada to two years probation for her theft of union funds in the amount of $10,540. She also will have to pay $10,000 in restitution. She pleaded guilty in February. (OLMS, 5/7/07).
Philadelphia Secretary-Treasurer Charged with Embezzlement
On April 27, Evelyn Lewis, former secretary-treasurer of Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 1034, was charged in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County, with various counts of theft in connection with her embezzlement of $10,265 from the Philadelphia-based union. Earlier in the month, former local President Gerald Groom was charged with similar offenses in relation to his theft of more than $13,000. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers. (OLMS, 5/7/07).
Ohio Ex-Local Boss Sentenced for Embezzlement
On April 30, Dennis P. Harper, former branch president of National Postal Mail Handlers Local 304, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to three years probation, including three months house arrest, for embezzling $2,543.10 in union funds. He also was ordered to make restitution in that amount. Harper was convicted in December. (OLMS, 5/7/07).
Former Local Secretary-Treasurer in Iowa Pleads Guilty to Theft
On April 17, Marcia Dewey, former secretary-treasurer of Local 769 of the American Federation of Government Employees, pled guilty in Iowa District Court of Woodbury County (Sioux City) to theft charges, and subsequently was sentenced to a five-year suspended sentence and placed on two years probation. She had been charged in January with stealing $1,525 in union funds. (OLMS, 5/7/07).
Indiana President-Business Manager Pleads Guilty to Theft
On April 10, Glenn Collins, former president and business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2249, pleaded guilty in Monroe County (Bloomington), Indiana Circuit Court to criminal conversion of union funds. Additionally, he was ordered to pay $840 in restitution and a $250 fine, while remaining out of union office or employment for 13 years. (OLMS, 5/7/07).