For nearly five years Guy Masocco treated his union like a personal ATM dispensary. It was a poor decision. On August 29, federal prosecutors announced that Masocco, president of United Steelworkers Local 897, had pleaded guilty in Buffalo federal court to embezzling some $31,700 in funds from the union, which represents more than 100 workers at ITT Heat Transfer Inc. in suburban Cheektowaga, N.Y. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Federal prosecutors had alleged that Masocco, now 62, a resident of Buffalo, during December 2004-November 2009 used his union credit card to pay for unauthorized personal expenses. They also had charged that he submitted reimbursement claims to the union for lost wages presumably incurred during official business; an internal review of company payroll records later revealed payment for the days and hours he supposedly hadn’t worked. Sentencing is scheduled for January.