Carl White’s income wasn’t much, but he had the wrong idea about how to supplement it. White, treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 251, pleaded guilty on January 29 in federal court to embezzling nearly $86,000 from the Madison, Wisconsin union. He admitted before U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, “I took the money from Madison Stage and Screen Services and used it for my own purposes.” In exchange for his guilty plea and a promise to make restitution, prosecutors will recommend a lighter prison sentence than the 10- year maximum.
According to court records, White, 64, a resident of Madison, embezzled $85,963 between December 13, 2000 and August 13, 2005 by writing union checks to himself and keeping the proceeds. Eventually, the local detected financial discrepancies in an audit it conducted after August 2005 and then reported the problem to the U.S. Department of Labor. After the guilty plea, Richard Gauthier, a union business agent, said White’s actions have substantially harmed his organization. “Most members don’t work full time as stagehands, and when you only make $10,000 to $12,000 a year at it, it’s hard to make up for a loss like this.” (Capital Times, 1/29/09).