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2021 Criminal Enforcement Actions


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.

A 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.

A 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.

A 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.

A 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.

 


On September 28, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Donnell Owens, former Secretary to the Communications Director of the American Federation of Government Employees National Union (located in Washington, D.C.), was charged in a criminal information with one count of embezzlement from a labor organization for embezzling $275,524, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On September 23, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Trey Huffty, former President of United Steelworkers Local 13-1731 (located in White Hall, Ark.), was sentenced to three years of probation and 150 hours of community service, and he was ordered to pay $37,367 in restitution. On April 6, 2021, Huffty pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On September 21, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Yvette Luster, former Treasurer of Postal Mail Handlers Local 314 (located in Hazelwood, Mo.), was sentenced to 18 months of prison and three years of probation. Luster was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $184,138 and a $100 special assessment. On June 22, 2021, Luster pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On September 16, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Michael Wood, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3957 (located in Grant, La.), was sentenced to three months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $29,664 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On May 13, 2021, Wood pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 513(a). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On September 8, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Salvatore Tagliaferro, former President of Carpenters Local 926 (located in Brooklyn, N.Y.) and a former New York City District Council of Carpenters Representative, was sentenced to five years in prison followed by two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $145,065 in restitution and $296,400 in forfeiture. On April 28, 2021, following a jury trial, Tagliaferro was found guilty on all charges relating to a scheme to sell union “books” or membership cards (union property) for cash bribes: conversion of union assets (29 U.S.C. 501(c)), honest services wire fraud (18 U.S.C. 1346 and 1343), aiding and abetting (18 U.S.C. 2) both the conversion of union assets and the honest services wire fraud, as well as conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371). The sentencing follows a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the Public Corruption Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office SDNY, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the New York City Department of Investigation.

On September 3, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Hasan Zahdeh, former President of Michigan Union of Healthcare Workers (located in Muskegon, Mich.), was sentenced to 14 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $140,498 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On April 13, 2021, Zahdeh pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office.

On September 2, 2021, in the 117th District Court of Nueces County, Texas, Crystal Nicole Cruz, former President of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local Lodge CE-3 (located in Corpus Christi, Tex.), was charged with one count of aggregation of amounts involved in theft and one count of misapplication of fiduciary property in the amount greater than $2,500 and less than $30,000, in violation of Texas Statutes 31.09 and 32.45(c)(4), respectively. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On September 2, 2021, in the 319th District Court of Nueces County, Texas, Sally Ann Gutierrez, former Secretary-Treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local Lodge CE-3 (located in Corpus Christi, Tex.), was charged with one count of aggregation of amounts involved in theft and one count of misapplication of fiduciary property in the amount greater than $2,500 and less than $30,000, in violation of Texas Statutes 31.09 and 32.45(c)(4), respectively. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On August 30, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Stephen A. Rooze, former Secretary-Treasurer for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 662 (located in Burbank, Calif.), pleaded guilty to four counts of embezzling union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c), and admitted to embezzling a total of $140,064 over an eight-year period. The guilty plea follows an investigation by OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On August 18, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, Scott Merritt, former Treasurer of Ironworkers Local 470 (located in Jamestown, N.Y.), was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $50,850 and a $100 special assessment. On April 22, 2021, Merritt pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On August 18, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, KaSandra Hall, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 235 (located in Killeen, Tex.), was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $12,765 in restitution, a $100 fine, and a $100 special assessment. On May 18, 2021, Hall pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On August 17, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) US LLC (located in Detroit, Mich.) was sentenced to 36 months of probation, fined $30,000,000, and ordered to pay a $400 special assessment fee. On March 1, 2021, FCA pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371. FCA knowingly joined a conspiracy whereby it paid and delivered over $3.5 million in money and things of value to officers and employees of the United Auto Workers (UAW), located in Detroit, Mich., from 2009 through 2016. The prohibited payments and things of value included the payment of approximately $262,000 to satisfy the outstanding mortgage on the residence of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield; $25,000 for a party for former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell; and over $30,000 in meals for UAW officials at various restaurants in Palm Springs and Southern California. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

On August 13, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Peter Burns, former Financial Secretary of United Steelworkers Local 5632 (located in Fontana, Calif.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $1,137, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On August 12, 2021, in the United States District Court of the Western District of Texas, Karen Pierce, former office manager of Plumbers Local 142 (located in San Antonio, Tex.), was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $112,759 in restitution. On July 22, 2020, Pierce pleaded guilty to one count of theft of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District office.

On August 11, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Brenda Walters, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 7 (located in Muskogee, Okla.), was sentenced to 60 months of probation. She was also ordered to pay $95,100 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On March 24, 2021, Walters pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On August 3, 2021, in the Bexar County Judicial District Court, Jeannette Simmons, former bookkeeper for the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Union (SMART) Southwest Gulf Coast Regional Council (SWGCRC), located in San Antonio, Tex., was charged with one count of theft, one count of misapplication of fiduciary property, and one count of forgery in the aggregate amount greater than $30,000 and less than $150,000, in violation of Texas Codes 31.03, 32.45, and 32.21, respectively. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On July 30, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Roderick Marvin Bennett, former Chief of Staff for the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), located in Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury following a five-day trial of one count of health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1347. The guilty verdict is the result of Bennett arranging union employee health plan coverage for his girlfriend, who was never a union employee and not eligible to participate in the plan. Bennett was the LIUNA Chief of Staff for approximately four years until October 2016. The current conviction is in addition to Bennett’s January 2018 guilty plea to three counts of theft from a labor organization stemming from his unauthorized personal purchases – exceeding $150,000 – on his LIUNA-issued credit card. The guilty verdict follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On July 22, 2021, in the Circuit Court of Calhoun County, State of Alabama, Robert Anthony Mozee, former Treasurer of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 622 TD (located in Odenville, Ala.), was indicted on one count of knowingly obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over U.S. Currency, having a value exceeding $2,000, the property of the SMART Local 622 TD, with the intent to deprive the owner of property, in violation of 13A-8-3 of the Code of Alabama. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On July 22, 2021, in the United States District Court of the Central District of California, Aja Jasmin, former President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 350-C (located in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), was sentenced to 28 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release. She was ordered to pay $185,000 in restitution and a $25 special assessment. On October 30, 2020, Jasmin pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On July 22, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Andrew Brown, Benefits Coordinator for the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association (LEEBA), located in New York, N.Y., was charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud of $500,000 and one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1349 and 18 U.S.C. 1343, respectively. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation.

On July 20, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, Donald Snyder, former President of International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP), affiliated with National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local R2-394 (located in Amherst, N.Y.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $94,649, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office with the assistance of the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On July 19, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Joshua Fernandes, former Treasurer of the New Bedford Police Union (located in New Bedford, Mass.), was charged in a one-count information with wire fraud in the amount of $48,630, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On July 16, 2021, in the State of Connecticut, Superior Court District of Meriden, Adriana Garcia, former Treasurer of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 4-753 (located in Meriden, Conn.), was arrested and charged in an information with one count of larceny in the 3rd degree for embezzling $7,596 from the union, in violation of CGS 53a-124(a)(3). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office and the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, State of Connecticut.

On July 16, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Anthony F. Rockman, Secretary Treasurer of Textile Workers Local 1 (located in Cleveland, Ohio), pleaded guilty to a one-count information for obstruction of justice (destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations and bankruptcy), in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1519. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office.

On July 16, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Steven Whittick, former Treasurer of the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association (LEEBA), located in New York, N.Y., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of false statements to federal investigators, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 and 1001, respectively. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation.

On July 15, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Kurt Kittleson, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 151D (located in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), was sentenced to one year of probation and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and a $25 special assessment. Prior to sentencing, Kittleson paid restitution in the amount of $19,800. On April 22, 2021, Kittleson pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement in a report required to be filed by a labor organization, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(b). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On July 8, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Thomas Burkhart, former President of United Steelworkers Local 145 (located in Sapulpa, Okla.), was sentenced to 36 months of probation. He was also ordered to pay $19,900 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On April 8, 2021, Burkhart pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On July 7, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, George Bindas Jr., former President of International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1295 (located in Milwaukee, Wisc.), was charged with seven counts of theft from an employee benefit plan totaling $77,019 and seven counts of embezzlement of union funds totaling $6,598, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 664 and 29 U.S.C 501(c), respectively. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office and the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

On July 6, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Scott Wilson, former Director of Information and Technology for Operating Engineers Local 3 (located in Alameda, Calif.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco-Seattle District Office.

On July 6, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Vance Pearson, former Regional Director of United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 5 (formerly located in St. Louis, Mo.), was sentenced to 12 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release. Pearson was also ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution and a $100 special assessment fee. On February 7, 2020, Pearson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle union funds and to use a facility of interstate commerce to aid a racketeering enterprise, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371, 1952(a)(3), and 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

On June 30, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Rachel Marie Gleason, former Treasurer of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Union (SMART) Local 1700 (located in Perris, Calif.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and theft of union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On June 28, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Linda Carter Shepherd, former Financial Secretary of Steelworkers Local 14637 (located in Hazard, Ky.), pleaded guilty to a one-count information of embezzlement of union funds totaling $39,492, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office.

On June 23, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Brian Rittenhouse, former Financial Secretary of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1320 (located in Grandville, Mich.), was sentenced to two years of probation. Rittenhouse was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $100 special assessment. Rittenhouse previously paid $1,425 in restitution. On March 10, 2021, Rittenhouse pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.

On June 22, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Yvette Luster, former Treasurer of Postal Mail Handlers Local 314 (located in St. Louis, Mo.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On June 15, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Anthony F. Rockman, Secretary Treasurer of Textile Workers Local 1 (located in Cleveland, Ohio), was charged in a one-count information with destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1519. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office.

On June 10, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Gary Jones, former President of United Auto Workers (UAW), located in Detroit, Mich., was sentenced to 28 months in prison and 24 months of supervised release. As part of the sentence, Jones was also ordered to pay $550,000 in restitution, a $10,000 fine, and a $200 special assessment fee. Jones was also ordered to forfeit $153,257, a custom-made set of Titleist golf clubs, and various golf clothing and equipment. The $153,257 included $31,000 in cash, $83,613 held in Jones’ “Flower Fund” account, and $38,644 from Jones’ Members in Solidarity account. The Members in Solidarity account was intended for use in internal UAW political campaigns. On June 3, 2020, Jones pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle more than $1 million in union funds and use a facility of interstate commerce to aid racketeering activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371, 1952(a)(3) and 29 U.S.C. 501(c), and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C 371. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

On June 9, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Nathan Grimes, former correspondence secretary and office manager for Stage and Picture Operators Local 333 (located in Charleston, S.C.), was indicted for embezzlement of union funds and wire fraud, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c) and 18 U.S.C. 1343, respectively. The charges follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On June 1, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Scott Wilson, former Information Technology Director for International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 3 (located in Alameda, Calif.), was charged in a one-count information with embezzlement of labor organization assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows a joint investigation conducted by the OLMS Seattle-San Francisco District Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On May 26, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Lorena Becerra, former Secretary-Treasurer of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 14904 (located in Long Beach, Calif.), pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement in a report required to be filed by a labor union, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(b). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On May 26, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Linda Rogers, former Treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2254 (located in Jersey City, N.J.), was sentenced to six months of electronically monitored home confinement and 24 months of probation. She was also ordered to pay $40,455 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On January 12, 2021, Rogers pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On May 25, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Linda Carter Shepherd, former Financial Secretary of Steelworkers Local 14637 (located in Hazard, Ky.), was charged in a one-count information with embezzlement of union funds totaling $39,492, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office.

On May 20, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Peter Burns, former Financial Secretary of United Steelworkers Local 5632 (located in Fontana, Calif.), was charged in a criminal information with one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $1,137, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On May 20, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Harold Bryan Weatherford, former Treasurer of the National Staff Organization, Professional Staff Association (located in Plano, Tex.), was sentenced to five months in prison, five months of house arrest, and three years of probation. Weatherford was also ordered to pay $73,949 in restitution. On September 17, 2020, Weatherford pleaded guilty to embezzlement and theft of labor union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On May 19, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Donald “Gus” Dougherty, owner and operator of Dougherty Electric, Inc., an employer of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.), was sentenced to two years in prison. Dougherty was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $358,913 and a $125,000 fine. On January 21, 2021, Dougherty pleaded guilty to one count of making and subscribing to false federal income tax returns (26 U.S.C. 7206(1)) and one count of theft from employee benefit plans (18 U.S.C. 664). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Office, Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

On May 18, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Connie Deal, former office manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 508 (located in Savannah, Ga.), was charged in a two-count information with making a false statement in a report required to be filed with the Secretary of Labor and making a false entry in a union record, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(b) and 439(c), respectively. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On May 18, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, KaSandra Hall, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 235 (located in Waco, Tex.), pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On May 13, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Michael Wood, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3957 (located in Grant, La.), pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 513(a). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On May 11, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Dennis Williams, former President of the United Auto Workers (UAW), located in Detroit, Mich., was sentenced to 21 months in prison and 12 months of supervised release. Williams was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and $100 special assessment. Williams also paid over $130,000 in restitution before being sentenced. On September 30, 2020, Williams pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle union funds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 and 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

On May 5, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Lorena Becerra, former Secretary-Treasurer of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 14904 (located in Long Beach, Calif.), was charged in a one-count information with making a false statement in a report required to be filed by a labor union, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(b). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On April 28, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Salvatore Tagliaferro, former President of Carpenters Local 926 (located in Brooklyn, N.Y.) and a former New York City District Council of Carpenters Representative, was found guilty following a five-day trial on all charges relating to a scheme to sell union “books” or membership cards(union property) for cash bribes. Specifically, Tagliaferro was found guilty of conversion of union assets (29 U.S.C. 501(c)), honest services wire fraud (18 U.S.C. 1346 and 1343), aiding and abetting (18 U.S.C. 2) both the conversion of union assets and the honest services wire fraud, as well as conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371). The verdict follows a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the Public Corruption Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the New York City Department of Investigation.

On April 27, 2021, in the Bexar County Judicial District Court, Patricia Brown, former office secretary for Carpenters Local 14 (located in San Antonio, Tex.), was charged with one count of theft, one count of misapplication of fiduciary property, and one count of forgery in the amount greater than $2,500 and less than $30,000, in violation of Texas Statutes 31.03, 32.45, and 32.21. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On April 22, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Kurt Kittleson, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 151D (located in Rancho Palos Verde, Calif.), pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement in a report required to be filed by a labor union, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(b). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On April 22, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, Scott Merritt, former Financial Secretary of Ironworkers Local 470 (located in Jamestown, N.Y.), was charged in a one-count information with embezzlement of union funds totaling $50,850, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). He then pleaded guilty to the charge. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On April 21, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Matthew Cuomo, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1047 (located in Kenner, La.), was sentenced to three years of probation. He was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On September 30, 2020, Cuomo pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 513(a). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On April 20, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Jennifer Rogers, former member of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2254 (located in Jersey City, N.J.), was sentenced to six months of electronically monitored home confinement and 24 months of probation. She was also ordered to pay $40,455 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On December 1, 2020, Rogers pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting an embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c) and 18 U.S.C. 2. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On April 16, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Michael Wood, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3957 (located in Grant, La.), was charged in a bill of information with one count of forgery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 513(a). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On April 13, 2021, in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Joseph Whitbeck, former Vice President of National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 274 (located in Allentown, Pa.), was indicted on 10 counts of honest services wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343 and 1346, and 10 counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office, the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On April 13, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Hasan Zahdeh, President of Michigan Union of Healthcare Workers (MUHW), (located in Muskegon, Mich.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds totaling $140,498, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office.

On April 8, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Thomas Burkhart, former President of Steelworkers Local 145 (located in Sapulpa, Okla.), pleaded guilty to embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $19,900, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On April 6, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Trey Huffty, former President of Steelworkers Local 1731 (located in White Hall, Ark.), was charged in a one-count information with embezzling union funds in the amount of $37,368, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). Huffty then pleaded guilty to the charge. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On March 30, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Mark Douglas, former President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1101 (located in Arabi, La.), was sentenced to 24 months of probation. He was also ordered to pay $7,708 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On September 17, 2019, Douglas pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On March 25, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Thomas Burkhart, former President of Steelworkers Local 145 (located in Sapulpa, Okla.), was charged in a criminal information with one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $19,900, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On March 25, 2021, in Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Maryland, Lamar Elliott, former President of Association of Civilian Technicians Chapter 134 (located in Clinton, Md.), was indicted on one count of theft having a value of at least $1,500 but less than $25,000 and one count of embezzlement, in violation of Sections 7-104 and 7-113 of the Maryland Criminal Code, respectively, for embezzling $19,806 from the union. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On March 25, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, Arthur Penn, former Chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Pentagon Force Protection Agency (located in Arlington, Va.), pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343, for embezzling $384,000 from the union. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On March 24, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Kenneth Morris, former Treasurer of Teachers Local 2240 (located in Kentfield, Calif.), was sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $101,583 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On November 20, 2019, Morris pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in the amount of $101,583, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344(2). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco District Office.

On March 24, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Brenda G. Walters, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Muskogee Area Local 7 (located in Muskogee, Okla.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $95,100, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On March 18, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Kurt Kittleson, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 151D (located in Rancho Palos Verde, Calif.), was charged in a one-count information with making a false statement in a report required to be filed by a labor union, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(b). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On March 12, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Stephen Rooze, former Secretary-Treasurer of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 662 (located in Burbank, Calif.), was charged in a four-count indictment for embezzling $140,064 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On March 10, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Rodney Priestley, former President of International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1504-8 (located in Galveston, Tex.), was indicted for embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $32,230, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On March 10, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brian Walker, former Vice President of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1504-8 (located in Galveston, Tex.), was indicted for embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $20,001, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On March 10, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Brian Rittenhouse, former Financial Secretary of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1320 (located in Grandville, Mich.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.

On March 5, 2021, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Criminal Division, Milton Thomas, former shop chairman of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 890 (located in Morton Grove, Ill.), pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/17-3(a)(1). He was then sentenced to two years of probation. He was also ordered to avoid contact with UAW Local 890 and Xylem Corporation, to submit to DNA indexing, and to pay a $75 fine. The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On March 3, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Gregory Fiocca, a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.), was charged in an indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit extortion (18 U.S.C. 1951(a)), 18 counts of extortion (18 U.S.C. 1951(a), (b)(2)), and aiding and abetting (18 U.S.C. 2). The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Office, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On March 3, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, John Dougherty, Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.), was charged in an indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit extortion (18 U.S.C. 1951(a)), 18 counts of extortion (18 U.S.C. 1951(a), (b)(2)), and aiding and abetting (18 U.S.C. 2). The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Office, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On March 1, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA), located in Detroit, Mich., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371. FCA knowingly joined a conspiracy whereby it paid and delivered over $3.5 million in money and things of value to officers and employees of the United Auto Workers (UAW), located in Detroit, Mich., from 2009 through 2016. The prohibited payments and things of value included the payment of approximately $262,000 to satisfy the outstanding mortgage on the residence of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield, $25,000 for a party for former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, and over $30,000 in meals for UAW officials at various restaurants in Palm Springs and Southern California. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

On February 25, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of Maine, Jeffrey Phillips, former Secretary-Treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local Lodge 836 (located at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine), was sentenced to two years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $57,611 in restitution, a $2,400 fine, and a $100 special assessment. On February 27, 2020, Phillips pleaded guilty to taking and carrying away personal property within the special territorial jurisdiction of the United States in the amount of $57,611, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On February 18, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, Donald Snyder, former President of International Association of EMTs and Paramedics, affiliated with the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local R2-394 (located in Amherst, N.Y.), was charged in a criminal complaint with embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $94,649, false reports required to be filed by the Secretary of Labor, and false entries in union records, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c), 439(b), and 439(c), respectively. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On February 11, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Aja Jasmin, former President of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 350C (located in Ontario, Calif.), pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343, as part of a scheme to defraud and embezzle approximately $190,000 from the union. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On February 11, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Kathryn A. Connelly, former President of National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 707 (located in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.), was sentenced to one year of probation. She was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. Connelly previously paid $10,323 in restitution. On September 28, 2020, Connelly pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $10,323, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General.

On February 1, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, John Sammons, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1872 (located in Shaw AFB, S.C.), was sentenced to three years of supervised probation, including six months of home incarceration, and he was ordered to pay a $5,500 fine. Sammons previously paid $17,261 in restitution. On February 28, 2020, Sammons pleaded guilty to one count of theft, in excess of $1,000, within a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On January 29, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Edward C. Davis, Jr., former Secretary-Treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 620 (located in Fort Worth, Tex.), was sentenced to six months of confinement and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $61,386 in restitution. On September 16, 2020, Davis pleaded guilty to embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On January 28, 2021, in the United States District Court of New Jersey, Dorothy McBride, former President and Fund Administrator of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 81427 (located in Montville, N.J.), was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of embezzlement of labor union assets in the amount of $100,000 and one count of embezzlement from an employee benefit plan in the amount of $534,470, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c) and 18 U.S.C. 664, respectively. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On January 27, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Edward “Nick” Robinson, former President of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Midwest CAP Council (located in Louis, Mo.), was sentenced to one year in prison and one year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $200 special assessment. Restitution will be determined at a later date. On March 2, 2020, Robinson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle approximately $1,500,000 in union funds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 and 29 U.S.C. 501(c), by submitting fraudulent vouchers to the UAW that misrepresented the destination and purpose of the expenses and by using unauthorized checks to divert funds from the UAW Midwest CAP. Robinson also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371, for failing to report over $1,500,000 in income on the IRS Form 990 returns filed by the UAW and UAW Midwest CAP and for failing to report the income on his Form 1040 tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

On January 27, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA), located in Detroit, Mich., was charged in an information with one count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371. FCA was charged with knowingly joining a conspiracy whereby it paid and delivered over $3.5 million in money and things of value to officers and employees of the United Auto Workers (UAW), also located in Detroit, Mich., from 2009 through 2016. The prohibited payments and things of value included the payment of approximately $262,000 to satisfy the outstanding mortgage on the residence of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield, $25,000 for a party for former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, and over $30,000 in meals for UAW officials at various restaurants in Palm Springs and Southern California. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

On January 21, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Donald “Gus” Dougherty, owner and operator of Dougherty Electric, Inc., an employer of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.), pleaded guilty to one count of making and subscribing to false federal income tax returns, in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7206(1), and one count of theft from employee benefit plans, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 664. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

On January 12, 2021, in the Jefferson Parish 24th Judicial District Court, Damion Young, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1047 (located in Kenner, La.), was charged one count of felony theft greater than $4,999.99 but less than $25,000, in violation of LA R.S. 14:67.B(2). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On January 12, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Linda Rogers, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2254 (located in Jersey City, N.J.), pleaded guilty to count one of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). Between July 2016 and August 2017, Rogers’ daughter Jennifer Rogers, former member of AFSCME Local 2254, illegally wrote 111 checks to Linda Rogers and deposited them into their joint checking and savings account. Linda Rogers also wire transferred union funds from the union’s savings account to her personal credit card. The total loss to the union was approximately $40,455. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On January 12, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Brian Rittenhouse, former Financial Secretary of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1320 (located in Grandville, Mich.), was indicted with one count of embezzlement and one count of false entry in a record required to be kept by a labor organization, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c) and 29 U.S.C. 439(c), respectively. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.

On January 6, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Scott E. Rodgers, President of National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 314 (located in St. Louis, Mo.), was charged with one count of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets, totaling $80,765, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office and the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.

On January 5, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District Court of California, John S. Romero, former President of United Industrial Service Workers of America (UISWA), located in Colton, Calif., was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment and three years of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay a $1,400 special assessment. Romero was also ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later hearing. On February 12, 2020, after a six-day trial, a jury found Romero guilty of one count of conspiracy (18. U.S.C. 371), 12 counts of theft of approximately $800,000 in connection with health care (18 U.S.C. 669), and one count of filing a false financial report with the Department of Labor, in which he failed to properly report the existence of more than $100,00 in receipts and disbursements (18 U.S.C. 1001). The sentencing follows an investigation conducted by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On January 5, 2021, in the District Court of Inglewood, California, Vida Sloan, former Treasurer of National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 303 (located in Los Angeles, Calif.), was charged with one count of grand theft in the amount of $10,039, in violation of California Penal Code Section 487(A). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

On January 5, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Hasan Zahdeh, President of Michigan Union of Healthcare Workers (MUHW), located in Muskegon, Mich., was indicted for embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The indictment includes a forfeiture allegation pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 981(a)(1)(C), 18 U.S.C. 982(b)(1), and 28 U.S.C. 2461(c). On December 11, 2020, a criminal complaint, along with an arrest warrant, was filed against Zahdeh alleging an embezzlement of union funds of at least $15,640. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Office.

 

 

Last Updated: 10-04-21