U.S. Labor Department Enforcement Agency Announces Eight Criminal Convictions for January 2008



"America's union members deserve justice, and the eight convictions this month represent a success against those who would abuse their trust," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Standards Don Todd. "Our successful prosecutions of 835 individuals and court orders of restitution for more than $103 million since 2001 demonstrate the effectiveness and importance of our work. OLMS has a long track record of success, and last month we marked our 5,000th indictment since OLMS began its records in 1964. This total includes more than 880 indictments since 2001."

OLMS is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for administering most provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). The agency's criminal enforcement program includes investigations of embezzlement from labor organizations, extortionate picketing, deprivation of union members' rights by force or violence, and fraud in union officer elections. The agency's civil program collects and publicly discloses unions' annual financial reports, conducts compliance audits of labor unions and seeks civil remedies for violations of officer election procedures. In certain cases, OLMS also conducts joint investigations with other Labor Department agencies, including the Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Office of Inspector General, as well as other law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

OLMS's public disclosure Web page at www.unionreports.gov contains union annual financial reports and additional forms required to be filed under the LMRDA. Other information, including synopses of OLMS enforcement actions, is available on OLMS' home page at www.olms.dol.gov.

Editor's Notes: A listing of selected OLMS enforcement actions during January 2008 accompanies this release. An indictment is the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal charges and indictments noted in these materials are accusations only.

Selected Enforcement Actions in January 2008

Office of Labor-Management Standards

U.S. Department of Labor

Sentencings

False Statement Subject Enters into Pre-Trial Agreement

On Jan. 9, 2008, a failure to maintain records investigation conducted by the OLMS New Orleans District Office resulted in the subject entering into a Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Under the terms of the Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement, the subject must make full restitution to the union and not hold any union office during the duration of the agreement. Due to the confidential nature of the Pre-Trial Diversion program, details that could identify the subject are not public information.

Former Union Local President Sentenced for Falsification of Union Records

On Jan. 11, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Charyle Emel, former president of American Postal Workers Local 2013, was sentenced to a one-year probation, ordered to make restitution, pay $60 to the U.S. Postal Service and pay a $25 special assessment. On Feb. 23, 2007, Emel pled guilty to one count of falsifying union financial records by willfully making or causing to be made a false loan agreement between her and the local totaling $12,864.10. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.

Former Union Local President Sentenced for Embezzling More Than $13,000 in Union Funds

On Jan. 14, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Terry Howell, former president of Steelworkers Local 8-505, was sentenced to three years of supervised probation, including six months of house arrest; ordered to pay restitution; and fined $2,000 for embezzling $13,210 in union funds. On Oct. 26, 2007, Howell pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

Former Local Union President Sentenced for Filing False Reports

On Jan. 23, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, Timothy C. Ferrucci, former president of Northeast Emergency Services Union, was sentenced to a one-year probation, which includes six months of home confinement, and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and make restitution of $27,347. On Nov. 2, 2007, Ferrucci pled guilty to four counts of filing a false report. Ferrucci admitted making false statements on the local's annual Form LM-3 for the years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. In each of the annual reports, Ferrucci understated the amount of compensation he directly or indirectly received. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS New Haven Resident Investigative Office.

Former Officer Sentenced to 14 Months of Confinement for Making False Statements

On Jan. 29, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Brad Harper, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1629, was sentenced to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release, ordered to pay a special assessment of $100 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $75,069.49. On Aug. 9, 2007, Harper pled guilty to one count of making materially false statements on the local's annual financial report. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

Embezzlement Subject Enters into Pre-Trial Agreement

On Jan. 29, 2008, an embezzlement of union funds investigation conducted by the OLMS Seattle District Office resulted in the subject entering into a Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement with the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. Under the terms of the Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement, the subject must complete 40 hours of unpaid community service work and not hold any union office. Due to the confidential nature of the Pre-Trial Diversion program, details that could identify the subject are not public information. The Pre-Trial Diversion follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.

Former Union Employee Sentenced for Forgery

On Jan. 30, 2008, in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia, Timothy A. Wilson, former employee of Stage and Picture Operators Local 271, was sentenced to two years of probation for forgery. On Nov. 16, 2007, Wilson pled guilty to a one count felony charge of forgery in the amount of $168. Prior to the investigation, Wilson paid restitution in the amount of $16,750. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office.

Guilty Pleas

Former Union Officer Pleads Guilty to Falsification of Records

On Jan. 8, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Kathleen Drake, former secretary-treasurer of Machinists Local 2339-C, pled guilty to one count of falsification of union records, and agreed to make restitution in the amount of $17,035. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.

Former Union President Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $170,000

On Jan. 9, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Graham Paul Vane, former president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 1280, pled guilty to one count of embezzling more than $170,000 in union funds and four counts of making false statements to a government agency. The final embezzlement amount will be determined at Vane's sentencing hearing. On May 24, 2007, Vane was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the same approximate amount and four counts of false statements to a government agency. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco District Office.

Former Union Officer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $10,000 in Union Funds

On Jan. 16, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, an information was filed against Fredrick W. Jones, former vice president of Glass, Molders and Plastic Union Local 285, charging him with one count of embezzling union funds in an amount exceeding $10,000. Subsequently, Jones pled guilty to the offense. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

Former Union Officer Pleads Guilty to Making a False Representation

On Jan. 18, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Michael Rutowski, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2913, pled guilty to one count of making a false and fraudulent representation to a federal agency. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.

Former President of ATU Local 1181 Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Charge

On Jan. 18, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Salvatore Battaglia, former president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, the primary union that represents drivers and escorts for school bus companies in New York City, pled guilty to participating in the conduct of the affairs of a racketeering enterprise in violation of 18 USC 1962 (c). Battaglia's act included the extortion of bus company owners. The plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the FBI and the Department of Labor's Office of the Inspector General.

Criminal Charges and Indictments*

Former Union Officer Charged with Grand Larceny

On Jan. 7, 2008, in the City Court of Peekskill, N.Y., Glenroy Richards, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2440, was charged with grand larceny in the third degree. During the period from July 2006 to November 2006, Richards is alleged to have utilized his union-issued debit card to withdraw a total of $11,243 from the union's checking account. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.

Former Union Officer Charged with Embezzling More Than $11,000 in Union Funds

On Jan. 15, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Kim M. Van Handel, former president and acting treasurer of Steelworkers Local 1980, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $11,500. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Milwaukee District Office.

Union President Indicted for Embezzling More Than $20,000 in Union Funds

On Jan. 16, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Clarence Morgan, president of Steelworkers Local 2948, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the approximate amount of $20,499. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.

Former President Indicted for Embezzling More Than $16,000 in Union Funds

On Jan. 16, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, James Eric Kay, former president of Boilermakers Local Lodge 523, was indicted on 43 counts of embezzling union funds in the approximate amount of $16,979. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.

Former Union Officer Charged with Theft of Union Funds

On Jan. 19, 2008, in the County Court of Fremont County, Colo., Jamie Solis, former president of Steelworkers Local 594, was charged with one count of theft of union funds in the amount of $500 or more, but less than $15,000, by threat or deception. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Denver District Office.

Former Union Officer Charged with Falsifying Union Records

On Jan. 29, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, an information was filed against Kristen Swint, former vice president and secretary-treasurer of Machinists Local 2339-C, charging her with one count of falsifying union records. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.

Former Union Officer Indicted for $31,000 Mail Fraud Scheme

On Jan. 30, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, William Sargent, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, was indicted on one count of mail fraud involving a scheme to defraud the union of approximately $31,015. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

Enforcement Actions and Civil Complaints

OLMS Files Suit

On Jan. 4, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the department filed suit against American Postal Workers Union, Local 732, located in Dallas, Texas. The lawsuit seeks to nullify the May 17, 2007, election for the offices of president, vice president, sergeant-at-arms, human relations director, one trustee and several delegate positions, and seeks a new election for those positions under OLMS supervision. The complaint alleges candidates on the incumbent slate used a different and better mailing list to mail their campaign literature to members than the mailing list provided to other candidates. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the local violated sections 401(c) and 401(g) of the LMRDA which prohibit, respectively, discrimination in the use of union mailing lists and the use of union funds in union officer elections. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.

Union Enters into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with OLMS

On Jan. 9, 2008, the Labor Department accepted a voluntary compliance agreement from Sindicato de Guardias de Seguridad de Puerto Rico, a local labor union in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. The agreement calls for the department to supervise an election for local union officers on or before March 31, 2008. The agreement stems from the union's failure to conduct an officer election within three years of its last regular election. The agreement follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.

* Indictments and informations are the methods by which people are charged with criminal activity. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal charges and indictments noted in these materials are accusations only.

U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


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