For four years Donna LeAnn Cooper used her union credit card to enrich her bottom line. She’s lucky she likely won’t be doing as much time behind bars. Cooper, a former office employee with Laborers International Union of North America Local 888, pleaded guilty on July 15 in Muskogee, Oklahoma federal court to embezzling more than $69,000 from the Muskogee local. She is currently free on bond awaiting sentencing.
Prosecutors had alleged that Cooper, 58, a resident of Tahlequah, during October 26, 2004-October 16, 2008 used her union-issued credit card to make unauthorized purchases and ATM withdrawals for her own use. An investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards led to her indictment this June. U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling said that though the punishment could be up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, a preliminary calculation of sentencing guidelines projects a prison term of 10 to 16 months.