Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Labor Racket Weekly: Best of Summer

From embezzlement and fraud, to larceny and racketeering, here are the summer’s latest labor rackets:

In Kansas, Asenath Roland, former President of the Kansas Postal Workers Union, was indicted on one count of embezzlement of union funds totaling $4,740.

In Illinois, John T. Coli Sr., former Secretary Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727, pleaded guilty to one count of receiving a prohibited payment as a union officer, and one count of making a false income tax return.

In Illinois, Eastern Division, John Matassa Jr., former Secretary-Treasurer of Amalgamated Workers Union Independent Local 711, was sentenced to six months in prison and 12 months of supervised release, of which six months will be home confinement.  Matassa was also ordered to pay $33,513 in restitution to Local 711, $22,948 in restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and a $100 assessment.  He previously paid $52,160 in restitution to the SSA.  On February 26, 2019, Matassa pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds.

In Indiana, Rhondalyn Cornett, former President of the Indianapolis Education Association, was charged in a one-count information of wire fraud in a scheme to embezzle more than $100,000, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343.  She then pleaded guilty to the charge.

In New York (SDNY), Vincent Esposito was sentenced to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and $3,816,865 in forfeiture.  On April 10, 2019, Esposito pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Frank Cognetta, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1D, and Vincent D’Acunto, Jr., former Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 2D, were also charged in the same indictment as Esposito, previously pleaded guilty, and are awaiting sentencing.

In Michigan, Esper Alexander, former President of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 1111, pleaded guilty to one count of larceny by conversion of $200 or more, but less than $1,000.

In South Carolina, John Sammons, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1872, was indicted on five counts of mail fraud and one count of theft within a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction.

In Hawaii, Rodney Capello, former business manager of Laborers Local 722 – Hawaii Electrical Workers, was charged in a one-count information with embezzlement of union funds totaling $184,771.

In Virginia, Alexandria Division, Howard Janoske, the co-owner of a HVAC and plumbing company in Maryland, was sentenced to six months of home confinement and two years of supervised probation.  He was also ordered to pay restitution of $23,367 and a fine of $25,000.  An asset forfeiture order for $92,432 was also issued.  On March 1, 2019, Janoske pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzle union funds for conspiring with, among others, an employee of an international union located in Herndon, Virginia.


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