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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

U.S. Department of Justice
William W. Mercer
United States Attorney
District of Montana

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2006

Contact:
Kurt Alme
First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana
(406) 247- 4669

MICHAEL JOSEPH KENNEDY PLEADS GUILTY IN U.S. FEDERAL COURT

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula on October 31, 2006, before Chief U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, MICHAEL JOSEPH KENNEDY, a 46-year-old resident of Butte, pled guilty to embezzlement from a labor union. Sentencing is set for February 1, 2007. He is currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

From April 13, 2003, until June 4, 2005, KENNEDY was the financial-secretary for the Painters Local Union 720 in Butte.

Between October 22, 2003, and March 22, 2005, KENNEDY embezzled $15,612.81 by writing 84 unauthorized checks to himself, for cash and to third parties. During that time, he also forged the names of other union officials and made false entries in the books and records of the union to conceal the embezzlement.

The thefts were discovered when nine of the checks written by KENNEDY at local bars were rejected due to insufficient funds. When interviewed, KENNEDY admitted the theft.

KENNEDY faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the Department of Labor.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.