Scott Merritt had plenty of time to steal from his union. Now he may be facing time of a different sort. On April 22, Merritt, former financial secretary of Ironworkers Local 470, was charged in a one-count information in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York with embezzling funds from the Jamestown-based union in the sum of $50,850.71. He then pleaded guilty. The charge and plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Merritt, now 40, a resident of nearby Celoron, N.Y., served as Local 470 treasurer during May 2011-August 2018. According to prosecutors, he used most if not all of that period to enrich himself at dues-paying member expense, writing union checks to cover personal expenses. Sentencing is set for August 18. Merritt faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but his guilty plea virtually ensures a … Read More ➡
On February 5, Aphrodite Ueberroth, former office manager for Iron Workers Local 55, was indicted in Lucas County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court on one count of aggravated theft from the Toledo-based union in an amount of between $150,000 and $750,000, two counts of falsifying union financial records, six counts of forgery, and one count of receiving stolen property in an amount of between $1,000 and $7,500. While no further details are available on this case, it is of potential significance that her husband, Shawn Ueberroth, a Local 55 member, died in November 2018. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Postscript: Aphrodite Ueberroth died on October 17, 2020. No cause of death was given.… Read More ➡
Thomas Williamson Sr. and Jeffrey Veach had a traditional, “old school” approach to putting union workers on the payroll. That approach may win them a stiff prison sentence. On January 24, Williamson and Veach, respectively, member and president of the Portage, Ind.-based International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 395, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one count of extortion conspiracy related to violent physical assaults committed four years earlier against nonunion workers at a construction site in Dyer, Ind. The pair had been arrested and charged in August 2018 following an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Dyer Police Department.
Union Corruption Update described this organized thuggery and its context several days after the arrests. Back on January 6, 2016, Local 395 member Thomas Williamson paid a visit to the … Read More ➡
On the Indiana side of the Chicago area, showing up for work could get pretty dangerous for nonunion contractors and workers. At least two sources of that danger, for now, are out of commission. On August 16, Thomas Williamson and Jeffrey Veach, respectively, a member and the business agent/president of the Portage, Ind.-based Ironworkers Local 395, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana after being arrested for extortion under the Hobbs Act related to an attack in January 2016 at a construction site in Dyer, Ind. The defendants, already facing a civil suit, pleaded not guilty and were released on bond. The actions follow an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Dyer Police Department.
Violence by union workers against nonunion workers is hardly a “thing of the past.” It still happens, and with union officials spinning inventive … Read More ➡