Upstate New York IBEW President Pleads Guilty to Filing False Claims

IBEW logoMark Valerio managed to game the system for nine years. Then the law of averages caught up. On September 18, federal prosecutors announced that Valerio, formerly president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 249, had pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to filing duplicate claims for reimbursement totaling nearly $40,000 and then concealing the fraud. IBEW Local 249 is based in Geneva, N.Y., located in Finger Lakes region between Syracuse and Rochester. Valerio faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Prosecutors had charged that Valerio, now 57, a resident of Macedon, N.Y., used his positions as president of IBEW Local 249 and executive board member of IBEW System Council U-7, to receive $39,049 worth of reimbursements for travel expenses. In fact, he already was being compensated for these trips by his employer. He also failed to list the false voucher payments in union financial records. Valerio resigned as local president last year. The guilty plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.