Howard Royal spent only 11 months ripping off his union. That was plenty of time to do well for himself. On July 17, Royal, former president of United Government Security Officers of America Local 304, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to one count of wire fraud in connection with his thefts totaling $66,989.02 from the Harrisburg union. He had been charged nine days earlier, with the Justice Department filing a tentative plea agreement along with the information count. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Prosecutors had alleged that Royal, 50, a resident of Steelton, Pa., during December 15, 2009-November 16, 2010 used his position to make more than 100 unauthorized electronic transfers and withdrawals from a union account to a personal one. It is telling that the charge against him came nearly five years after the thefts had ended. Local 304 represents security officers in state government agencies throughout Pennsylvania. No sentencing date has been established yet.