Writing nearly 200 unauthorized paychecks invites the law of averages to catch up. For Robbin Wolff it did. On October 29, Wolff, formerly bookkeeper for United Auto Workers Local 383, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to two years in prison, and required to make full restitution and pay a $125 special assessment for embezzling slightly over $200,000 in funds from the Benton Harbor union and falsifying union records. The local represents around 600 workers at the Bosch Chassis plant in nearby St. Joseph. She pleaded guilty in July after a Department of Labor (DOL) investigation.
Federal prosecutors had alleged that Wolff, 49, a resident of Stevensville, Mich., during March 2004-June 2008 issued herself 194 unauthorized salary checks from union funds and charged various personal expenses to union credit cards. The total thefts amounted to $202,298. The more than four-year reign of theft has put the union in a bad way. Local officials present in the court of U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker stated that Ms. Wolff’s actions left their union without a facility, money and certain member benefits.