Frankie Sanders liked New Orleans – or so it seemed. And he wanted his union to reimburse him for hotel stays there. The problem is that many, if not all, of those stays weren’t real. Sanders, former Southern Region Coordinator for the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas with embezzlement and wire fraud following the unveiling of a two-count grand jury indictment on March 17. The southern region, one of five representing a grand total of 262,000 postal employees, is based in Houston.
Sanders, 46, held a series of positions with the APWU during 1992-2006. Prosecutors allege that the Houston resident, whose most recent employment has been as a postal clerk in that city’s downtown, embezzled $13,145.80 during July 2003-May 2006 by submitting more than 20 phony receipts from the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Airport to union national headquarters for wire transfer reimbursement. For several months during that period, Sanders had supervised a trusteeship of APWU Local 83 in New Orleans as well as served as the national union’s southern regional coordinator. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.