Alan Raines didn’t live extravagantly, but theft remains what it is. And the 61-year-old crane operator from Detroit is paying the price. On November 14, Raines, former financial secretary for Local 1358 of the United Steelworkers, based in suburban Southfield, Mich., was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to two years in prison and two years of supervised release for embezzlement and bank fraud worth nearly $275,000. “We can’t have union (leaders) stealing from their members,” said U.S. District Judge Sean Cox.
During 1999-2006, charged prosecutors, Raines forged a third-party name on union checks, and then used the proceeds to pay for personal expenses. He came forward and confessed to his activity upon learning that the U.S. Department of Labor had been planning an audit. He was ordered to pay restitution to the union in the amount of $145,823.92, having already paid more than $128,000 in restitution. He pleaded guilty in July. Raines, who had been divorced twice and bankrupt once, said he was under financial duress and intended to repay all funds. The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (detnews.com, 11/14/07; Detroit Free Press, 11/16/07; OLMS, 11/17/07).