For Stephanie Hicks, the bill for more than a half-decade of thefts has come due. Last Tuesday, November 17, Hicks, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2207, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to six months in federal prison, plus six months of home detention, for embezzling more than $92,000 from the union, which represents employees at the Birmingham VA Hospital. Hicks had pleaded guilty to bank fraud and forgery in June after being indicted for embezzling over $132,000. The actions follow a joint investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor.
Hicks, now 44, was elected president of AFGE Local 2207 in July 2007, and served in that capacity for six years. Unfortunately, she did more than manage union affairs. Federal prosecutors alleged that from January 1, 2008 until July 26, 2013, Hicks diverted funds from a pair of union bank accounts for her own personal use. According to the 19-count indictment handed down in February, she wrote checks for nonexistent business trips, forged the names of other union officers and members, and made unauthorized debit card purchases and cash withdrawals. Moreover, she concealed these transactions by not including them in union financial reports to the Labor Department. Hicks must report to prison on January 12.