Recent weeks have brought to light all sorts of union scandals, including theft, embezzlement, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and others. Thousands upon thousands of dollars in member dues were involved. The Labor Department has it all for you:
- On June 5th, 2018, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, Sophia Love, former President of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2751 (located in Baltimore, Md.), pleaded guilty to one count of theft of more than $10,000 but less than $100,000, in violation of Maryland Criminal Law Section 7-104(g)(1)(ii), for stealing $15,548 from the union.
- On June 1st, 2018, in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland, Keith Franzese, former President of Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 275 (located in Greenbelt, Md.), entered an Alford plea to one count of theft of more than $10,000 but less than $100,000, in violation of Maryland Criminal Law Section 7-104(g)(1)(ii), for stealing $67,624 from the union. An Alford Plea is a guilty plea of a defendant who proclaims he is innocent of the crime, and admits that the prosecution has enough evidence to prove that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- On May 31st, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Salvatore Armao and Karen Auer, respectively the managing partner and the principal of an accounting firm, were charged by complaint with Aiding and Abetting an Embezzlement of Union Funds (18 U.S.C. 2 and 29 U.S.C. 501c), False Statements in Employee Benefit Plan Records and Reports (18 U.S.C. 1027), and Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371). Auer was also charged with making a False Statement (18 U.S.C. 1001).
- On May 29th, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Charles Webster, former President of Steelworkers (formerly Glass, Molders, and Plastics) Local 284 (located in Longview, Tex.), was charged and pleaded guilty to one count of failing to maintain records, which were required to be kept in support of the union’s annual financial report, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(c).
- On May 29th, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Newport News Division, Christopher Mulhall, former Secretary-Treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 264 (located in Hampton, Va.), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzlement, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371, for taking part in an embezzlement of $57,310 from the union.
If the past is prologue, Summer 2018 will be no different in union America. Union members, beware!