Donna Simpson’s $50,000-plus salary as a union secretary apparently wasn’t enough to make ends meet, so for a year and a half she took to stealing from the union. The thefts weren’t detected at first, but her good luck streak eventually ended. Simpson was indicted in late August by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for embezzling $87,823 from a bank account of the United Steelworkers’ Organization for Active Retirees. Neither she nor union spokespersons could be reached for comment.
Simpson, 42, a resident of East McKeesport, Pa., had served as field secretary for the organization. U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said in a prepared statement that from June 2006 until early 2008 she wrote herself 82 unauthorized union checks. Her salary last year was $50,305, according to the union’s financial report to the U.S. Department of Labor. The indictment follows an investigation by DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/26/08).
Ohio Local President Indicted for Embezzlement, Records Fraud
On August 19, Kenneth Saltz, Jr., former president of United Steelworkers of America Local 1124 in Massillon, Ohio, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for embezzling $15,809 in union funds and making false statements in union records. (OLMS, 9/4/08).
Colorado Local President Indicted for Theft
On August 13, Jamie Solis, former president of United Steelworkers of America Local 594, pleaded guilty in the County Court of Fremont County, Colorado to theft of union funds of an amount between $500 and $15,000. Solis had been indicted last December. The union is based in Canon City, west of Pueblo. (OLMS, 9/4/08).
Suburban Philadelphia Pair Charged with Embezzlement
Katherine Leese and Gerald Conaway served both as cops and union officers. Now they may wind up serving time. The pair had been, respectively, treasurer and past president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 93 in Doylestown, Pa. Bucks County prosecutors charge that Leese, 42, a resident of Langhorne and a police officer in Falls Township, diverted more than $87,000 in union funds to pay off her mortgage and credit card bills. Additionally, they say, Conaway, 66, a retired member of the Upper Southampton police force, embezzled $5,500 from the local. (Associated Press, 8/21/08).
Texas Local President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
Willie Chambers, III represented workers who guarded the nation’s security. Unfortunately, he proved more interested in stealing their money than guarding it. On Wednesday, August 20, Chamber, 43, a resident of Texarkana, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to embezzling funds from International Guards Union of America Local 124. During January-July 2007, charged prosecutors, Chambers diverted $6,805 from the Hooks, Tex. union, which represents employees at the Red River Army Depot. (States News Service, 8/20/08).
Secretary Treasurer of Ohio Local Sentenced for Embezzlement
On August 14, Amy Cross, former secretary-treasurer of Utility Workers Local 308, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to three months home confinement and two years supervised release, and ordered to make restitution to the Lima-based union in the amount of $31,886. She had pleaded guilty back in April to embezzlement in the same amount during the period January 2003-December 2006. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was not at liberty to say how Cross stole the money or what led to the Labor Department investigation. (Lima News, 8/22/08; OLMS, 9/4/08).
Southern Ohio Former President Sentenced for Bank Fraud
On August 14, Brian Dolney, former president of Local Lodge 2333 of the International Association of Machinists, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to eight months of home confinement, five years of supervised release, and 100 hours of community service for bank fraud. He also will have to make restitution in the amount of $11,565.61 and pay a $100 fine. He pleaded guilty in April. The Dayton local since has merged into Machinists Local 225. (OLMS, 9/4/08).
Former Bookkeeper in Cincinnati Indicted for Embezzlement
On August 20, Rebecca Montgomery, former bookkeeper-office secretary for the Machinists Eastern Regional Office, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on one count of embezzling $508.92 in funds from the Cincinnati-based union. (OLMS, 9/4/08).