For Eric Givens, being an Amtrak cop was an opportunity to steal union funds as well as protect the public. That’s why he’s now about to embark on a trip of a different sort. On November 12, Givens, former secretary-treasurer of Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 189 and the Amtrak Police Labor Committee, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to 16 months in prison and three months of supervised release for embezzling a combined more than $100,000 in funds from the two New York-based labor organizations. He also was ordered to pay about $127,000 in restitution and forfeit another roughly $12,000. Givens had pleaded guilty in June following his arrest and indictment a year earlier.
Prosecutors had alleged that Givens, a resident of East Stroudsburg, Pa., an Amtrak security officer since 1997 and local secretary-treasurer since 2003, began to steal funds in or around 2008, making unauthorized debit card charges and cash withdrawals from the FOP Labor Committee and Lodge, and using the money to pay for food, travel, entertainment and other personal expenses. He then concealed these transactions in union financial records. An internal audit discovered a shortfall of at least $100,000, prompting union officials to request a U.S. Department of Labor investigation. The DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, aided by the Amtrak Police Office of Internal Affairs, conducted a probe and concluded that Givens had taken the money.