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Labor Racket Weekly: 2019 Wrap Up

There were over 170 Department of Labor actions against criminal activity from union leaders in 2019. Below, see just the latest union bosses who might want to add “following the law” to their list of New Year’s resolutions.

In New York, John Ulrich, former Vice-President and Recording Secretary of Teamsters Local 812, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit and receive bribes to influence the operation of an employee benefit plan.

In Maryland, John Scarcella, former Secretary-Treasurer of Association of Civilian Technicians (ACT) Local 125, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of more than $10,000 and less than $100,000 for stealing $28,010 from the union. Scarcella was then sentenced to 18 months in jail (all suspended) and 36 months of unsupervised probation.  He was also ordered to pay the remaining restitution of $22,760.

In New Jersey, Angel Luis Garcia, former Financial Secretary of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1614, was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of embezzlement in the amount of $117,000.

In the District of Columbia, Audonus Duplessis, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2463 was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised probation and 300 hours of community service.  He was also ordered to pay $87,020 in restitution.  On September 12, 2019, Duplessis pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2314.

In Michigan, Joseph Ashton, former United Automobile Workers (UAW) International Vice President in the General Motors (GM) Department and director of the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources from 2010 through 2014, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In New York, after a six day trial, a jury found Frank Giovinco guilty of one count of 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, and others were also charged in the same indictment as Giovinco, previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced.

In Michigan, Kelly Carter, former President of National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 560, was sentenced to six months of home confinement, two years of probation, and 200 hours of community service.  Carter previously made restitution totaling $9,031.  On August 20, 2019, Carter pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $9,031.

In New York (SDNY), Steven Arena was sentenced to one year in prison and three years of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay $276,500 in forfeiture.  On May 31, 2019, Arena 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, who were also charged in the same indictment as Arena, have previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced.

In Virginia, Alexandria Division, Michael Carney, former facilities and real estate manager for an international labor organization, was sentenced to eight months of home confinement and two years of supervised probation.  He was also fined $25,000.  Restitution of $23,367 was previously satisfied by another individual.  On May 16, 2019, Carney pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzle union funds by conspiring with, among others, the owner of an HVAC and plumbing contracting company.

In the District of Connecticut, Thomas Popillo, former President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 81266, was sentenced to three years of probation to include six months of home confinement.  He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $37,568 and a $100 special assessment.  On August 7, 2019, Popillo pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds.

Categories: Crime & CorruptionLabor Racket Weekly