Machinists Secretary-Treasurer in Central California Pleads Guilty

Tracy Ford wasn’t guileful enough. On Friday, September 2, Ford, former secretary-treasurer for International Association of Machinists Local Lodge 1528, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to embezzling nearly $175,000 from the Modesto-based union and concealing her thefts by filing false financial data to the Labor Department. Ford, who was charged in February, reportedly has agreed to pay full restitution. She is scheduled for sentencing on January 20.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Ford, now 47, a resident of Stockton, made $174,891 in unauthorized withdrawals from union accounts for her own personal use. She also used some of that money to buy health insurance from a former union officer who in turn supplied her with the drug OxyContin. IAM Local 1528 represents workers at about a dozen area private-sector employers including UPS, Interstate Brands and International Paper Company. Ford faces a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine for embezzlement and one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for submitting a false financial report.