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Union Corruption Report: June 2011

On June 27, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, Thomas Wagner, Financial Secretary of Steelworkers Local 897 (located in Cheektowaga, N.Y.), pled guilty to falsification of union records, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(c).  Wagner admitted to making personal charges on the union credit card amounting to a loss of $5,526 in union funds.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.

On June 23, 2011, in Anoka County (Minnesota) District Court, Brenda Olson, former office secretary for Carpenters Local 851 (located in Anoka, Minn.), was sentenced to 60 days in jail with the option of home electronic monitoring and work release, five years probation, and was ordered to pay $7,310 in restitution.  On May 5, 2011, Olson pled guilty to one count of felony theft over $5,000.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Milwaukee District Office.

On June 23, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, an information was filed against Rebecca Mercer, former Treasurer of National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) Chapter 284 (located in Chamblee, Ga.), charging her with one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343.  The information follows an investigation by the OLMS Birmingham Resident Investigator Office.

On June 23, 2011, in the Lynn District Court of Essex County, Massachusetts, a criminal complaint was filed against Lynda Nordyke, President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1302 (located in Lynn, Mass.), charging her with one count of larceny over $250 for the amount of $58,404, in violation of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 266, Section 30.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston District Office.

On June 21, 2011, in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, Mark Winfield Tracy, former Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 533 (located in Reno, Nev.), was sentenced to two years in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and restitution of $87,119.  On December 6, 2010, Tracy pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds.  On March 3, 2010, Tracy was indicted on one count of embezzling $125,000 in union funds, one count of filing false Form LM-2 reports, one count of falsifying union records, and one count of willfully concealing and/or destroying union records.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco District Office.

On June 21, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Patricia Peoples, former Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME Local 1820 (located in Pontiac, Mich.), pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $39,019.67.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

On June 21, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Donald Kotouch, former President and Business Agent of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1738 (located in Latrobe, Pa.), pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $18,806.27 and one count of  falsifying union records.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office.

On June 21, 2011, in the United Stated District Court, District of Kansas, Lanny Pauley, former Secretary-Treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 1412 (located in Garden City, Kans.), was indicted on 23 counts of embezzlement for embezzling $6,515, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Kansas City Resident Office.

On June 20, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Grace Isley, President of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2051 (located in Newton, Iowa), pled guilty to one count of embezzlement with a loss amount of $11,943, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Kansas City Resident Office.

On June 17, 2011, in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Michelle Facciolli, former President/Field Representative of Painters District Council 711 (located in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.), pled guilty to receiving a loan in excess of $2,000, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 503(a) and (c).  Facciolli’s sentencing is scheduled for September 2011.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS New Haven Resident Investigator Office.

On June 17, 2011, in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Kimberly Hirschkorn, former Financial Secretary of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 709 (located in Bellingham, Wash.), pled guilty to willful embezzlement of union funds, in violation of one count of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  Hirschkorn was then sentenced to two years probation, 90 days of electronic monitoring, and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment penalty.  Restitution was made prior to the sentencing.  The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.

On June 15, 2011, in the State of Iowa, Cerro Gordo County District Court, Ken Schmidt, former Secretary-Treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 656 (located in Mason City, Iowa), was charged with Theft in the 2nd Degree in the amount of $9,467, in violation of Iowa Statutory Code 714.21.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.

On June 15, 2011, in the Northern District of New York, Alyson Harmon, former office employee for Carpenters Local 281 (located in Binghamton, N.Y.), was indicted for embezzling $20,482 between July 2006 and June 2008 from Local 281, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.

On June 14, 2011, in the United States District Court of New Jersey, Gary Weightman, former President of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 190 (located in Clifton, N.J.), was sentenced to one year of home confinement followed by 48 months of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for a violation of 26 U.S.C. 7201 (Tax Evasion).  Weightman received a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines as a result of his cooperation with the government which assisted in the conviction of John McGovern, former Local 190 Secretary-Treasurer.  McGovern previously pled guilty to and was sentenced for one count of violating 18 U.S.C. 371 by conspiring with Weightman to embezzle $200,000 of Local 190 funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

On June 13, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Amar Ali, former Secretary-Treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE) of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Sub-Lodge 695 (located in Baltimore, Md.), was sentenced to two years of probation.  Ali was also ordered to pay a $25 special assessment fee and a $500 fine.  Ali previously made restitution in the amount of $1,986.29.  On January 4, 2011, Ali pled guilty to a one-count information for failure to maintain union records, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(a)(b).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.

On June 13, 2011, in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Colin Rehrig, the former bookkeeper for Carpenters Local 600 (located in Bethlehem, Pa.), pled guilty to embezzlement of union funds totaling $30,483.71, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  Rehrig was charged on March 30, 2011.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.

On June 10, 2011, in the Northern District of Oklahoma, Darrell Whitehouse, former Treasurer of Steelworkers Local 4430 and the Tulsa Joint Building Committee (located in Tulsa, Okla.), pled guilty to embezzling $6,350 in union funds.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.

On June 9, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Sylvester Knight, former Secretary-Treasurer of Steelworkers Local 7-2154 (located in Chicago, Ill.), was sentenced to three years of probation and was ordered to pay the remaining amount of $1,837 of the total $6,207 of restitution.  He was also ordered to complete 20 hours a week of community service, but only if he experiences unemployment that lasts for over 30 days.  On February 28, 2011, Knight pled guilty to one count of false union records, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(c).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On June 9, 2011, in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, Joseph Chester, former President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Albuquerque Local (located in Albuquerque, N.M.), pled guilty to an information charging him with a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343 (Wire Fraud) and was sentenced.  Chester was placed on probation for one year, prohibited from possessing fire arms and explosives, ordered to participate in and complete a substance abuse treatment program and mental health treatment program, prohibited from incurring new lines of credit and entering into financial contracts, and was ordered not to frequent gambling establishments.  Chester was also ordered to make the remaining restitution of $799.50 and pay a court assessment of $100 and a fine of $600.  The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Denver District Office.

On June 8, 2011, in the United States District Court, District of Nevada, Nichelle Alstatt, former Secretary-Treasurer of the Professional Office Personnel Alliance (POPA), Professional Nurses Alliance (located in Las Vegas, Nev.), pled guilty to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $51,636.37, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c); one count of making false entries in required records, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(c); and one count of making false entries in reports required to be filed under the LMRDA, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(b).  Sentencing and disposition are scheduled for September 26, 2011.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On June 8, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Cleo Wilson, the former Financial Secretary of Steelworkers Local 1856 (located in Dallas, Tex.), was charged in a one-count indictment for embezzling $30,206.19 in union funds and falsifying union records.  The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.

On June 7, 2011, in the Circuit Court of the 18th Judicial Circuit of DuPage County, Illinois, a criminal complaint was filed against Larry F. Shelton, former Steward of Teamsters Local 754 (located in Elmhurst, Ill.), citing deceptive practices, in violation of Illinois Compiled Statute 720- 5/17-1B(d).  The complaint follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Investigation Office.

On June 7, 2011, in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, James Q. Hunter, former Treasurer of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1542 (located in Newark, Del.), pled guilty to a one-count information for making a false statement in union records, in violation of 29 U.S.C. Section 439(c).  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.

On June 7, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Stephen Koski, former Secretary-Treasurer of Machinists Lodge 1027 (located in Clarksburg, W.Va.), was charged in a one-count indictment for embezzling approximately $1,500 in union funds.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office.

On June 7, 2011, in the State of Florida, 4th Judicial District, Dakota Wilson, former Financial Secretary of Steelworkers Local 9-802 (located in Yulee, Fla.), was charged with Grand Theft of $19,472.53 in union funds.  Wilson was formally arrested on June 8, 2011.  The charge and arrest follow an investigation by the OLMS Miami Resident Office.

On June 6, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Garold Lawson, former President for National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local R14-139 (located in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.), was sentenced to six months confinement, four months home confinement, and three years probation.  Lawson pled guilty to one count of embezzlement of $67,566 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.ww.

On June 2, 2011, in the 54th District Court of Ingham County, Michigan, Joseph Darby, former Service Representative of Office & Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 459 (located in Lansing, Mich.), was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of embezzlement of $200 or more, but less than $1,000.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

On June 1, 2011, in the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit of Will County, Illinois, Tamika Dukes, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3492 (located in Addison, Ill.), pled guilty and was sentenced to one year of supervision and was ordered to pay restitution of $1,600.  A criminal complaint filed on December 1, 2010 charged Dukes with one count of theft of no more than $300.  The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On June 1, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Charles Kenney, President of Independent Store Employees Union (located in O’Fallon, Mo.), was indicted on one count of embezzlement with a loss amount of $15,596, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  On the same date, Joyce Wheeler, Treasurer of Independent Store Employees Union, was also indicted on one count of embezzlement with a loss amount of $30,544, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.

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Criminal Enforcement Actions 2011

An indictment is a formal accusation or charge based on a finding by a Grand Jury that it is likely that the person charged committed the criminal offense described in the indictment and is the means by which an accused person (defendant) is brought to trial. An indictment raises no inference of guilt. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

An information is a formal accusation of a crime by a government attorney rather than a Grand Jury.  An information raises no inference of guilt. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

charge is an accusation of criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Each count is a separate and distinct offense charged in an indictment or information.

guilty plea is a defendant’s admission to the court that he or she committed the offense charged and an agreement to waive the right to a trial.

conviction is a judgment based on a jury’s verdict, judge’s finding, or the defendant’s admission that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged.

sentence is a judicial determination of the punishment to be imposed on an individual who has plead guilty or has been convicted by a jury or judge of a criminal offense.

Source: Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

 

 

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