June 28, 2017
Criminal Conviction of Former Local 644 Treasurer Lon Sullivan
Lon Sullivan served as treasurer of Local 644 from January 2009 through February 2013 during a time when there unfortunately lacked appropriate oversight of the Local's expenditures. At the end of Lon's tenure it was discovered that large sums of money had been stolen. As a result of information from the Local an investigation was initiated by DOL OIG and OLMS.
On February 7, 2017, stemming from the OIG / OLMS investigation, Sullivan was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware with one count of wire fraud in the amount of $8,647. Sullivan had been funneling money from the union account for his personal use via 179 illegal transactions - paying off personal credit cards (40), cash withdrawals (75), using union cards for personal purchases (41), and fraudulently negotiating checks (23).
On February 28, 2017 Sullivan pleaded guilty to the one count of wire fraud and agreed to pay $96,809.56 in restitution.
On June 28, 2017, President Kozierachi and EVP Byerley attended the sentencing hearing of Lon Sullivan. The Presentence Investigation Report had calculated an advisory Sentencing Guideline range of incarceration for 12 to 18 months. To the union officer's dismay, Sullivan was sentenced to three years of probation and 200 hours of community service. Initially the judge was going to sentence Sullivan to just two years’ probation, but as a result of the witness impact statement EVP Byerley made in court he added one year to Sullivan's probation. The prosecutor had recommended 2 years’ probation/200 hours of community service because of Sullivan's guilty plea, a partial restitution payment of $37,000 at the Plea Hearing, his extreme remorse, the unlikelihood he would reoffend, the need to repay the Local, his volunteer work and Sullivan’s harrowing story of his childhood and young adult life. Such a light sentence was disturbing given the magnitude of the crime, at the very least the probation should have been extended out as far as possible. In addition to the probation and community service, Sullivan was ordered to pay the remaining amount of $59,809 in restitution. Sullivan had submitted an offer to repay $1000 per month but shockingly the judge stated he did not believe Sullivan and his spouse could afford that amount and ordered payments of no less than $200 per month.
The Local has instituted procedures to ensure that nothing like this occurs again, which include requiring two signatures on each check and oversight of the checking and money market accunt by the President, EVP, and Treasurer.