As we explained a few weeks ago, America’s unions got off to an embarrassing start in 2018. Early January was flooded with union corruption scandals and other slip-ups.
But the rest of the month wasn’t any better. The Labor Department chronicled even more scandals in the latter weeks of January:
- On January 24th, 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).
- On January 23rd, 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).
- On January 22nd, 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).
- On January 22nd, 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).
- On January 19th, 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).
Let’s see what February has to offer!