This Thanksgiving, some union bosses have more to be thankful for than others. Below are the best labor rackets from last month — you might even spot some familiar UAW officials.
In Michigan, Edward “Nick” Robinson, President of Auto Workers (UAW) Midwest CAP Council, was charged by information with one count of embezzling union funds and conspiracy to embezzle union funds. Robinson embezzled and conspired to embezzle approximately $1,500,000 in union funds. Robinson was also charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States for failing to report over $1,500,000 in income on the IRS Form 990 returns filed by the UAW and UAW Midwest CAP Council and for failing to report the income on his Form 1040 tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
In Michigan, Jeffery Pietrzyk, former senior official in the General Motors Department of the United Auto Workers International Union (UAW), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
In Texas, Orville Lynn Merritt, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 1168, pleaded guilty to misapplication of fiduciary property with a value between $30,000 or more but less than $150,000. Merritt was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $279 in court costs.
In Illinois, Eastern Division, Rebecca Hedman, an officer and agent of three medical service providers, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit commercial bribery. The conspiracy involved a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1952(a)(3) (Use of a Facility in Interstate Commerce in Aid of a Racketeering Enterprise) when cellphones were used by Hedman and Robert Kurtycz, former comptroller of Workers United, SEIU, Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board, to promote, manage, and carry on, and to facilitate the promotion, management, and carrying on of the unlawful activity, namely commercial bribery, and thereafter did perform and attempt to perform an act of promotion, management, and carrying on, and facilitation of the promotion, management, and carrying on of the same unlawful activity.
In New Hampshire, Dennis Robertson, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 668, was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $37,897 in restitution. On June 25, 2019, Robertson pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds.
In Pennsylvania, Tony J. Liesenfeld, former Secretary-Treasurer and President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 148, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in the amount of at least $77,716.