For Juan “Alex” Cedeno, the party’s over. And the bill has come due. On March 6, Cedeno, former president of United Steelworkers Local 4-318, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to one count of false-record keeping in connection with his theft or misappropriation of more than $90,000 in funds from the Queens, N.Y. union. Cedeno had been arrested and charged last May after a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Court records show that Cedeno, a resident of Queens, during April 2009-October 2011 used a union credit card to run up $58,303 in unauthorized charges at strip clubs, clothing retailers, a local Hooters restaurant, and various casino-hotels in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and the Caribbean. To conceal his thefts, he co-signed more than $35,000 in checks from the union general fund and transferred them to the benefit fund. In addition, he filed false information on financial reports to the Labor Department. The grand total of illegal transactions came to $93,965. Steelworkers Local 4-318 is now based in Edison, N.J., no doubt an effort by the union to put the Cedeno era behind it.