When Graham Paul Vane needed a lifestyle boost, he turned to embezzling from his San Mateo, Calif. union. He eventually was caught. And now his case is closed. On June 18, the Justice Department announced that Vane, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 1280, had been sentenced in San Francisco federal court to one year and three months in prison for diverting more than $170,000 in local funds toward his own personal use and making subsequent false statements on union financial reporting forms. He’ll also have to pay $150,000 in restitution and undergo three years of supervision following release.
According to prosecutors, Vane, 60, a resident of Pacifica, during January 2002-March 2006 used a union credit card and 10 personal credit cards (billing the union afterward) for such purposes as dining, travel, jewelry, dental services, groceries and his wife’s cell phone bills. To disguise the thefts, he filled out and submitted false records to the U.S. Department of Labor. Vane pleaded no contest in January to one count of embezzlement and four counts of making false statements to a government agency. (San Mateo County Times, 6/19/08; other sources).