Brian Arnold had full control over his union’s finances – too much control. On June 9, Arnold, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 104M, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to embezzling more than $33,000 in funds from the Elmira-based union. The local represents about 75 workers at Anchor Glass Container Corporation. Arnold had been charged last October on one count each of embezzlement and concealment following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to prosecutors, Arnold, now 49, a resident of Pine City, N.Y., during the period April 2016-August 2018 stole $33,224.15 in union funds in a variety of ways. For one thing, he made unauthorized purchases with his union debit card. He also made unauthorized ATM withdrawals, and wrote unauthorized checks to himself, from the union checking account. To conceal the thefts, he allegedly falsified union financial records. The guilty plea carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.