Money collected by a political action committee presumably goes for political campaigns. Cora Carper apparently had ideas of her own. And as fate would have it, so do federal prosecutors. On November 14, Carper, former fund manager for a PAC sponsored by the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, was indicted on six counts by a Greenbelt, Maryland federal grand jury for embezzling more than $500,000 from a PAC sponsored by the Lanham, Md.-based union, which represents more than 20,000 insulation industry workers in the U.S. and Canada. Carper faces up to five years in prison plus forfeiture of all stolen money. No initial court appearance has been scheduled yet.
According to prosecutors, Carper, 32, a resident of Churchton (Anne Arundel County), Md., during June 2009-February 2011 wrote more than 300 unauthorized PAC checks totaling $502,586 for her own personal use. To conceal the nature of the thefts, she allegedly forged the signature of the international union treasurer. As fund manager, her job was to document all PAC financial activity in a computerized file. But she did not have the authority to issue checks not requested by a union officer. Union members, whose donations make the PAC possible, at this point are hoping they can get their money back.