Detroit-Area Carpenters Comptroller Pleads Guilty to $500K Ripoff

On October 3, Glenn Robert Smith, former comptroller for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of embezzling $499,087 in funds from the Warren, Mich.-based union. He had been charged in July 2015 following a joint probe by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Despite the staggering sum of money stolen, the case has received virtually no media coverage. A possible clue as to the nature of the thefts, suggested by Union Corruption Update at the time of the charge, lay in a 17-count civil complaint filed by the regional council in November 2013 against Smith and two other defendants, including Smith’s wife, for misuse of union funds. The plaintiff had estimated the loss at more than $25,000. If that case was related to Smith’s guilty plea this month, that would have been quite an understatement.