Former Bookkeeper in Houston Indicted for Embezzlement

Heather Lott had a three-year run stealing from her union.  Her greatest challenge now will be to avoid a three-year run in prison.  Lott, 36, served as a bookkeeper for International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 19 in Houston from 1999 until her termination in January 2006.  Her departure was the result of a Labor Department investigation pursuant to a request from the union, concluding that she had embezzled $140,000.  On October 18, a federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment alleging that she diverted union funds to her own personal use during January 2003-January 2006.  A little over a week later, on October 26, Lott, now a resident of Wichita Falls, Tex., surrendered to the U.S. Marshals Service in Fort Worth. 

The house of cards began to fall when Local 19’s secretary-treasurer noticed certain checks were not clearing the bank, and subsequently notified President Robert Rasch.  After looking into the matter, Rasch notified the international union, which in turn notified the Labor Department.  The local and international unions “have fully cooperated and assisted the Department of Labor with its investigation,” he said.  The local represents about 2,300 workers, mainly mechanics at Continental Airlines.  (Houston Chronicle, 10/27/07).