Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

SEIU Boss Resigns After Being Hit With Embezzlement Charges

The executive director of the California SEIU resigned after she and her husband were hit with 13 felony charges, including embezzlement, tax fraud, and perjury.

According to the criminal complaint, Hernandez and her husband, Jose Samoyoa Moscoso, schemed to siphon thousands of dollars from the Working Families for Solorio for Senate — an SEIU PAC. Hernandez was treasurer of the PAC, which supported Orange County Democrat Jose Solorio, a former assembly member, in his 2014 bid for state senate.

Hernandez cut two separate checks to her husband totaling $11,700. In the campaign finance disclosures, Hernandez claimed she was paying Samoyoa Moscoso $7,200 as a food vendor after he provided meals for 80 campaign workers from October 19 to October 30, 2014. In the second payment, Hernandez claimed she paid Samoyoa Moscoso $4,500 for food served from November 2 to November 4.

But Samoyoa Moscoso does not own a food service company. He owns an air duct cleaning business.

As investigators continued to poke around, they discovered that Samosa Moscoso and Hernandez allegedly evaded paying taxes by underreporting their income. They also alleged that Samosa Moscoso failed to pay unemployment insurance or personal income tax. In total, the duo underreported more than $1 million over five years.

The two face 13 felony charges including two counts of embezzlement, felony perjury, and tax fraud. Because the behavior was part of a pattern, prosecutors added a special allegation of “aggravated white collar crime” which shorted the state of more than $100,000.  The complaint estimated that the couple owes the state $140,000 and they could be facing time in jail, as well.

Hernandez had been with the California SEIU for 11 years and served as its executive director for more than five years, according to her LinkedIn. Prior to her time as executive director, she was California SEIU’s political director.

Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU California State Council, said the union was still trying to figure out “how this break in trust could have occurred.” That’s not exactly a reassuring response if you’re a union member.

Despite lots of union cash, Solorio did not win his 2014 race. He did, however, rack up several complaints from the state’s campaign finance commission after missing a number of campaign finance disclosure deadlines and for using campaign money on apartment rent. In addition to receiving $8,200 from the SEIU, Solorio also received donations from California Teamsters, the Sheet Metal Workers Local 105, and the California Teachers Association, among others.

Categories: Crime & CorruptionSEIU