NYC Benefit Fund Trustee, Administrator Sentenced for Thefts

Local 23 of the Printing, Publishing and Media Workers had more than $150,000 missing from a union-sponsored health plan. Manuel Moscoso and Jadwiga Grace made the mistake of believing the money wouldn’t be tracked down. The two persons, respectively, a trustee and administrator for the fund, were sentenced on December 14, 2007 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for their roles in embezzling a combined roughly $155,000. Moscoso will spend a year in prison; Grace, nine months. Following release, each will undergo three years of supervision and make full restitution. He and she also will have to forfeit, respectively, $80,000 and $70,000. 

Moscoso and Grace were arrested on December 20, 2006, eventually pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit embezzlement in connection with a health plan. Federal prosecutors said the pair had used a variety of methods to generate illegal income, including improper salary compensation, excessive bonuses, unauthorized overtime, unauthorized withdrawals from the fund’s checking account, and improper reimbursement for office expenses and supplies. Moscoso and Grace used the money to pay off personal credit card debt, and buy items such as electronic supplies, guns and other expenses unrelated to union operations. The sentences follow an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration. The printing industry union is part of the Communications Workers of America. (U.S. Department of Labor, EBSA, 12/21/07; Office of Inspector General, Semiannual Report to Congress, October 1, 2007-March 31, 2008).