It wasn’t exactly the classiest behavior. On March 28, Nathan Lum, former director of the Longshore Division of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to one count each of aggravated identity theft and income tax evasion. The offenses, unrelated to operations of the Honolulu-based union, had a lot to do with his misuse of his late father’s stream of income. The guilty plea follows a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Sentencing is scheduled for July.
Court records show that Lum, now 61, a powerful, well-paid boss of the more than 1,000-member Longshore Division of ILWU Local 142 (the entire local has around 18,000 members), cashed Social Security checks made out to his father, who died in June 2013, and diverted the money to his own use. In addition, he failed to file federal income tax returns for the year 2012. As part of his guilty plea, he will repay $33,435 to the Social Security Administration and $77,934 to the IRS. He faces a mandatory two-year sentence for identity theft plus one year for tax avoidance. Lum’s attorney, Myles Breiner, believes his client took the fall for other corrupt union leaders now under federal investigation for racketeering along the Hawaii docks. “Most likely, this is going to lead to subsequent indictments,” Breiner asserted. We may not have heard the last of Nathan Lum after all.