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Labor Racket Weekly: New Year, Same Union Corruption

The New Year usually means a fresh start — but not for these union bosses. Check out the latest labor rackets from 2021:

In New Jersey, Dorothy McBride, former President and Fund Administrator of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 81427, was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of embezzlement of labor union assets in the amount of $100,000 and one count of embezzlement from an employee benefit plan in the amount of $534,470.

In Michigan, Edward “Nick” Robinson, former President of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Midwest CAP Council, was sentenced to one year in prison and one year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $200 special assessment. Restitution will be determined at a later date. On March 2, 2020, Robinson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle approximately $1,500,000 in union funds by submitting fraudulent vouchers to the UAW that misrepresented the destination and purpose of the expenses and by using unauthorized checks to divert funds from the UAW Midwest CAP. Robinson also pleaded guilty to 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 and for failing to report the income on his Form 1040 tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

In Michigan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA), located in Detroit, Mich., was charged in an information with one count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371. FCA was charged with knowingly joining a conspiracy whereby it paid and delivered over $3.5 million in money and things of value to officers and employees of the United Auto Workers (UAW), also located in Detroit, Mich., from 2009 through 2016. The prohibited payments and things of value included the payment of approximately $262,000 to satisfy the outstanding mortgage on the residence of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield, $25,000 for a party for former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, and over $30,000 in meals for UAW officials at various restaurants in Palm Springs and Southern California.

In Pennsylvania, Donald “Gus” Dougherty, owner and operator of Dougherty Electric, Inc., an employer of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98, pleaded guilty to one count of making and subscribing to false federal income tax returns and one count of theft from employee benefit plans.

In New Jersey, Linda Rogers, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 225, pleaded guilty to count one of embezzlement of union funds. Between July 2016 and August 2017, Rogers’ daughter Jennifer Rogers, former member of AFSCME Local 2254, illegally wrote 111 checks to Linda Rogers and deposited them into their joint checking and savings account. Linda Rogers also wire transferred union funds from the union’s savings account to her personal credit card. The total loss to the union was approximately $40,455.

In Michigan, Brian Rittenhouse, former Financial Secretary of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1320, was indicted with one count of embezzlement and one count of false entry in a record required to be kept by a labor organization.

In Missouri, Scott E. Rodgers, President of National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 314, was charged with one count of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets, totaling $80,765.

In California, John S. Romero, former President of United Industrial Service Workers of America (UISWA), was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment and three years of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay a $1,400 special assessment. Romero was also ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later hearing. On February 12, 2020, after a six-day trial, a jury found Romero guilty of one count of conspiracy, 12 counts of theft of approximately $800,000 in connection with health care, and one count of filing a false financial report with the Department of Labor, in which he failed to properly report the existence of more than $100,00 in receipts and disbursements.

In Michigan, Hasan Zahdeh, President of Michigan Union of Healthcare Workers (MUHW), was indicted for embezzlement of union funds. On December 11, 2020, a criminal complaint, along with an arrest warrant, was filed against Zahdeh alleging an embezzlement of union funds of at least $15,640.

Categories: Labor Racket Weekly