Considering what they most likely stole, Ryan Sherard and Fred Correll caught a break. On August 4, Sherard, former president of Graphic Communications International Union District Council 2, a Fullerton, Calif.-based Teamster affiliate, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service for filing a false union financial report related to his theft of more than $9,600 in union funds and filing a false tax return. That same day, Correll, ex-council treasurer, was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine plus interest. Sherard and Correll, respectively, had pleaded guilty on April 23 and April 29. The actions follow a probe by the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Union Corruption Update first reported on this case in March. Ryan Sherard, 43, and his father-in-law, Fred Correll, 79, each a Fullerton resident, reportedly had made a plea deal with prosecutors on or just before February 5 in connection with their diversion of union funds to their own personal use. Their organization, Graphic Communications District 2, represents roughly 9,000 printing and paper trade workers in Southern California. Court documents indicated that Correll admitted to stealing $10,000 in council funds in 2009 and failing to report this sum on his federal income tax return. In addition, documents indicated that Sherard admitted to stealing $9,635 and omitting mention of this on the union’s LM-2 financial reporting form to the U.S. Department of Labor. As part of their agreements, each waived his right to a grand jury review.
These prosecutions are separate from a pending civil suit filed by the union against the pair alleging they embezzled at least $1 million. Sherard and Correll allegedly had engaged in an “extravagant spending spree,” especially for hotel stays, restaurants, limousines, office parties and groceries. The suit also accuses Correll of engaging in “blatant nepotism” by hiring unqualified individuals for union posts.