A debit card can be highly convenient, especially if the name on the card refers to a deceased individual. William Davis has found out such a practice carries a downside. On October 23, federal prosecutors announced the indictment of Davis, ex-president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1119, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on one count of wire fraud and two counts of making false financial statements in the theft of more than $120,000 in union funds. The union represents about 300 employees at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System’s FDR campus in Montrose, N.Y. (Westchester County). The charges follow a joint probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.
William Davis was president of AFGE Local 1119 from about January 2008 to October 2012. For most of that time, prosecutors allege, Davis, 56, a resident of Wappingers Falls, N.Y., used a union-issued debit card that was in the name of a deceased union member to make hundreds of unauthorized charges and cash withdrawals. He allegedly used the card to buy merchandise from stores and online retailers, including Apple, Best Buy and Walmart, and to buy at least $30,000 worth of money orders from the U.S. Post Office in Montrose. Davis also allegedly used the card to make over 900 cash withdrawals from ATM machines. To conceal the thefts, he made false statements and omissions on annual financial reports to the Labor Department. Dead men tell no tales, but William Davis likely will have to – and soon.