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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

Criminal Enforcement Actions 2018

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 January 24, 2018, in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, John J. Bickerstaff, former Treasurer of Heat & Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (HFIA) Local 133 (located in Bismarck, N.D.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $91,223, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office. 

On January 23, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Joan Matthews, former bookkeeper for the Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC), located in Charleston, W.Va., was charged in a one-count indictment for embezzling $183,667 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.  

On January 22, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Alphons “Al” Iacobelli, former Vice President of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) for paying and delivering over $1.5 million in prohibited payments and things of value to officers and employees of the United Auto Workers (UAW), in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371.  The prohibited payments and things of value, which occurred between 2009 and 2015, included designer clothing, jewelry, furniture, custom-made watches, cases of custom-labeled wine ($3,000), and paying off the mortgage on the personal residence of a UAW vice president ($262,219).  The payments were made using the bank account and credit card accounts of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center (NTC), which was established to provide for the education, training, and retraining of workers.  Iacobelli also pleaded guilty to one count of failing to report on his 2014 individual tax returns approximately $861,927 in income, in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7206(1).  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 January 22, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Matthew Smith, former Treasurer of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 576 (located in Hurst, Tex.), was sentenced to 10 months in prison and one year of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay $300,848 in restitution and a $100 special assessment.  On October 4, 2017, Smith pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds from Local 576, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office. 

On January 19, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Jeni May Hughes, former office manager for Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 155 (located in Little Rock, Ark.), was sentenced to 30 months of confinement and three years of supervised release, and she was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $428,874 and a $100 special assessment.  On May 10, 2017, Hughes pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information charging her with embezzling $428,874 in 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 19, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division, Guy Gokey, former Financial Secretary of Glass, Molders, and Plastics (GMP) Local 59 (located in Toledo, Ohio), was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay outstanding restitution in the amount of $2,753.  On July 26, 2017, Gokey pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $14,074.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office. 

On January 18, 2018, in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, Richard D’Antuono, former Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons (OPCM) Local 40 (located in Cranston, R.I.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds (29 U.S.C. 501(c)), one count of embezzling from an employee benefit fund (18 U.S.C. 664), and aggravated identity theft (18 U.S.C. 1028A).  The total amount embezzled was approximately $319,795.  The guilty plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration. 

On January 17, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Cheryl Angell, former Treasurer of United Steelworkers of America Local 2-144 (located in Combined Locks, Wisc.), was charged with one count of embezzlement of $98,711 and four counts of filing a false report, in violation of 29 U.S.C 501(c) and 29 U.S.C 439(b), respectively.  The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.  

On January 12, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Norman Baker, former Financial Secretary of Glass, Molders, and Plastics (GMP) Local 220 (located in Axtell, Tex.), was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $4,249, a $5,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.  On October 24, 2017, Baker pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling $8,310 from Local 220, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.  

On January 11, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Kimberly Steinhoff, former Treasurer of Steelworkers Local 87 (located in Munising, Mich.), pleaded guilty to a superseding one-count information charging her with falsification of financial records required to be kept by a labor union, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(c).  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office. 

On January 10, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Angela Parrish-Wilson, former office manager for Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Workers Union (RWDSU) Joint Council 932 (located in Birmingham, Ala.), was sentenced to one month in prison and five years of supervised release.  She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $38,057.  On July 27, 2017, Parrish-Wilson pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c), and one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344.  The sentencing follows an investigation conducted by the OLMS Tampa Resident Investigator Office. 

On January 9, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, five individuals were indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 1962): Frank Cognetta, Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1D (located in Brooklyn, N.Y.), Vincent D’Acunto, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 2D (located in Brooklyn, N.Y.), as well as Vincent Esposito, Steven Arena, and Frank Giovinco.  Cognetta was also charged with Bribery in Connection with Employee Benefit Plans (18 U.S.C. 1954) and Honest Services Fraud (18 U.S.C. 1346).  D’Acunto, Jr., Esposito, and Arena were also charged with Extortion Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 1951).  The indictment follows a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, SDNY, the FBI, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the NYPD.

On January 4, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Maria Nunez, former office secretary for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local Lodge 1484 (located in Wilmington, Calif.), pleaded guilty to one count of false statements in records required to be maintained by a labor union, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(c).  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office. 

 

Last Updated: 1-29-18