The net has grown wider for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, if not necessarily for its allied power brokers at Philadelphia City Hall. On November 25, Donald “Gus” Dougherty and Michael McKale, respectively, a Local 98 contractor and an accountant for Dougherty’s firm, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on multiple fraud and theft charges. The alleged acts included avoiding required contributions to union benefit plans, making false statements on a mortgage loan application, and placing Dougherty’s wife in a no-show union job. The charges are part of a much larger ongoing investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Employee Benefits Security Administration and Office of Inspector General. The corruption broke wide open nearly two years ago.
Electrical Workers Local 98, now with some 5,000 dues-paying members, for years has been a powerful presence … Read More ➡
In California, selling worker’s compensation insurance requires a license. The business practices of Marcus Asay and Antonio Gastelum would seem to justify such a requirement. On September 24, Asay, founder of a Fresno-area firm, American Labor Alliance, and Gastelum, a former principal officer of the alliance, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in a 19-count superseding indictment for fraud and money laundering related to the sale of their financial products. In 2018 the California Department of Insurance had penalized the company and certain affiliates by more than $4.3 million. The latest action follows in the wake of an amended civil suit filed by a Fresno-area employer. The defendants are denying all wrongdoing. The charges follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Labor.
American Labor Alliance (ALA), launched in 2007, doesn’t look like a union. But … Read More ➡
Scott A. Wilson was a man of many disguises – especially when it came to the enterprises that he pretended to run. Now there is nothing left to disguise. Last Friday, June 26, Wilson, former director of the information technology department for International Union of Operating Engineers Local 3 and also a Texas-based businessman, was charged in Oakland federal court with defrauding the Alameda, Calif.-based union out of more than $4.5 million over a six-year period and diverting the funds to at least three front companies that he owned. Of that sum, he allegedly received about $2.5 million in kickbacks through a variety of schemes. He had been arrested in Texas and arraigned in Dallas federal court that day. The charges follow a joint investigation by the FBI and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Wilson, now 52, a resident of Corsicana (south of … Read More ➡
At International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260, stealing was a family business. And business hasn’t been good lately. On August 22, a Honolulu federal court unsealed a 70-count indictment against Brian Ahakuelo, former business manager for the Honolulu local, along with his wife and a sister-in-law, for conspiracy, money laundering, wire fraud and embezzlement related to the disappearance of an estimated $1.4 million in union funds. Ahakuelo and the two others subsequently pleaded not guilty. They will have to contend with indictments handed down the next day of four union members who allegedly rigged a union vote in 2015 to approve a dues hike to cover the losses. The indictments follow a five-year probe by the IRS, the Labor Department and the State of Hawaii.
IBEW Local 1260 represents more than 3,200 utility, broadcast, maintenance and contract workers in Hawaii, Guam and Wake Island. For at least five years, … Read More ➡
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) today filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against the Center for Global Policy Solutions (CGPS), a 501(c)(3) organization headed by Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, wife to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).
Mrs. Cummings is currently Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party and is a former candidate for Governor. Rep. Cummings is Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
The Complaint describes a score of apparent Internal Revenue Code violations, including prohibited private benefit and inurement of the Cummings. CGPS has received millions in grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and, in late 2017, was granted a million-dollar contract from the General Services Administration. The funds were purportedly provided to fight childhood obesity. The Complaint asks the IRS to investigate whether “its organizers are getting fat off the grants.”
At the same time she heads CGPS, Mrs. Cummings heads a for-profit … Read More ➡
President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address last Tuesday night offered some sensible recommendations for immigration reform. Unfortunately, he omitted a few things – such as the need to fix the EB-5 visa program. The EB-5, authorized by the Immigration Act of 1990, allows persons from abroad who invest in a U.S. startup business to become lawful permanent residents. All too often, it is an invitation to fraud and self-dealing.
The EB-5 visa, intended to spur business development, offers a green card for immigrant small venture capitalists. The visa holder must invest at least $1 million in a “new commercial enterprise” or at least $500,000 if the enterprise is located in a designated Targeted Employment Area. Upon approval of a petition, the investor and dependent family members may obtain a green card. The investor must show that the investment has created or preserved at least 10 permanent domestic … Read More ➡
It’s become a familiar story. High-paid professional athletes, advised by aggressive financial managers, put their assets in investments that go bust. In football alone, casualties have included Tony Dorsett, Lawrence Taylor and the late Johnny Unitas. Now several former pro football players burned out of an estimated combined $20 million believe they have a case against both their league and union. On Thursday, March 29, they got a major piece of good news in Atlanta federal court. U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes denied a motion to dismiss their civil suit against the National Football League, the National Football League Players Association, and several unidentified entities whose job it was to perform background checks of investment managers.
Last June, seven former NFL defensive stars – Steve Atwater, Blaine Bishop, Marco Coleman, Ray Crockett, Carlos Emmons, Clyde Simmons, and Al Smith – filed suit to recover losses from an alleged fraud … Read More ➡