2019 U. S. DOL Criminal Enforcement Actions

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2019 U.S. DOL Criminal LMRDA Enforcement Actions

September 27, 2019 by NILRR Staff (Edit)

2019 USDOL Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

(updated by USDOL 9/26/2019)

On September 17, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Theodore E. Watson, former business manager for Insulators Local 74 (located in Des Moines, Iowa), was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised probation.  Watson was also ordered to pay restitution of $125,443.  On April 15, 2019, Watson pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and one count of mail fraud, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c) and 18 U.S.C. 1341, respectively.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On September 13, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Tony J. Liesenfeld, former President and Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 148 (located in Lewisburg, Pa.), was charged in a one-count information with wire fraud in the amount of at least $77,716, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

On September 12, 2019, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk County Superior Court, Juan Evereteze, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3258 (located in Boston, Mass.), admitted to sufficient facts and was sentenced on three counts of larceny over $250 by single scheme, in violation of Massachusetts G.L. 266 § 30.  Evereteze was then sentenced to four years of probation under a continuance without a finding, with the first year of probation being supervised.  He was ordered to pay $38,000 in restitution.  The plea and agreement follow an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On September 12, 2019, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Audonus Duplessis, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2463 (located in Washington, D.C.), pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property for transporting $11,300 of stolen union funds from Washington, D.C. to Virginia to purchase a Dodge Charger for his personal use, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2314.  The total embezzlement by Duplessis was more than $80,000.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On September 10, 2019, in the Dunn County, Wisconsin Circuit Court, Jennifer Conway, former Vice President of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 727D (located in Menomonie, Wisc.), pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, in violation of Wisconsin State Statutes 947.01(01).  She was then ordered to pay court costs of $458.  Conway previously paid full restitution of $250.  The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.

On September 10, 2019, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Annette Jones, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 331 (located in Perry Point, Md.), was sentenced to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised probation.  Jones was also ordered to pay restitution of $82,180.  On May 7, 2019, Jones pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On September 6, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Frank Cognetta, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1-D (located in Brooklyn, N.Y.), was sentenced to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  On March 11, 2019, Cognetta pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1962(d).  The sentencing follows a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office SDNY, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On September 4, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Michael Grimes, former senior official in the General Motors Department of the United Auto Workers International Union (UAW), located in Detroit, Mich., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud (18 U.S.C. 1349) and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering (18 U.S.C. 1956(h)).  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

On September 4, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Eric Childress, former Secretary-Treasurer of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 2276 (located in Bluefield, W.Va.), was indicted on one count of embezzlement of union funds totaling $2,619, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

On September 3, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Stephen Perez, former Treasurer of Steelworkers Local 402 (located in Grand Rapids, Mich.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling approximately $14,408 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.

On August 30, 2019, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Ivar Carlson, former Business Agent/Treasurer of Stage and Picture Operators Local 935-B (located in Worcester, Mass.), was sentenced to one year of probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $9,786.  The Court further ordered forfeiture in the amount of $16,151.  Carlson previously paid $6,775 in restitution.  On March 26, 2019, Carlson pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling $37,014 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On August 29, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Danny Woodcock, former President of the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers – Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) Local 83770 (located in Columbus, Miss.), was sentenced to 46 months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, to be followed by three years supervised release.  Woodcock was also ordered to pay $519,963 in restitution and a $100 special assessment.  He was taken into the immediate custody of the United States Marshals Service.  On August 17, 2018, Woodcock pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On August 28, 2019, in the Marion County, Indiana Superior Court, Eleanor Harvey, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3826 (located in Indianapolis, Ind.), was charged in a two-count indictment for theft of union funds with a value between $750 and $50,000, in violation of Indiana Code 35-43-4-2.  The indictment follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office and the Grand Jury Investigations Division of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

On August 23, 2019, in the 36th District Court for the State of Michigan, Esper Alexander, former President of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 1111 (located in Detroit, Mich.), was sentenced to six months of probation and three days of community service.  Alexander was also ordered to pay restitution of $500 and to have no contact with SPFPA 1111.  On July 19, 2019, Alexander pleaded guilty to one count of larceny by conversion of $200 or more, but less than $1,000.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.

On August 20, 2019, in Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, Betty Robinson, former President of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2751 (located in Baltimore, Md.), was sentenced to five years in prison (all suspended) and five years of probation.  She was also ordered to pay the remaining restitution of $26,400.  Robinson previously paid $3,700 in restitution.  On December 14, 2016, Robinson pleaded guilty to one count of theft between $10,000 and $100,000, in violation of Section 7-104 of the Maryland Criminal Law Code.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On August 20, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Kelly Carter, former President of National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 560 (located in Benton Harbor, Mich.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $9,031, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The guilty plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office and the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.

On August 20, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Deloistine Williams, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 929 (located in West Helena, Ark.), was charged in a one-count information for making a false entry in a record required to be kept, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(c).  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On August 9, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Vincent D’Acunto, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 2D (located in Brooklyn, N.Y.), was sentenced to 10 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  On March 18, 2019, D’Acunto pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1962(d).  The sentencing follows a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office SDNY, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On August 9, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Michael Grimes, former senior official in the General Motors Department of the United Auto Workers International Union (UAW), located in Detroit, Mich., was charged in an information with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud (18 U.S.C. 1349) and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering (18 U.S.C. 1956(h)), totaling over $1.5 million.  The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

On August 8, 2019, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Camden), Robert Peter, former Secretary/Treasurer of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 526 (located in Blackwood, N.J.), was charged in an information with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $34,500, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  On the same date, Peter pleaded guilty to the charge.  The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

On August 7, 2019, in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, Thomas Popillo, former President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 81266 (located in Newington, Conn.), was charged with a one-count information with embezzling union funds in the amount of $37,568, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  He then pleaded guilty to the charge. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On August 7, 2019, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Christy Little Coppin, former office secretary for American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2250 (located in Muskogee, Okla.), was sentenced to five years of probation.  She was also ordered to pay $52,738 in restitution and a $100 special assessment.  On February 14, 2019, Coppin pleaded guilty to one count of theft within a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On August 5, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Norwood Jewell, former United Auto Workers (UAW) International Vice President of the UAW Chrysler Department and former director of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center (NTC) from 2014 through 2016 (both located in Detroit, Mich.), was sentenced to 15 months in prison, 12 months of supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.  On April 2, 2019, Jewell pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371, for receiving money and things of value from persons acting in the interest of FCA and/or approved UAW officials to use their NTC credit cards to make over $40,000 in purchases for himself, senior UAW officials, and other UAW members that were delivered through and concealed by the NTC.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

On August 2, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, Steven Kristopher Perry, former Financial Secretary-Treasurer of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 2077 (located in Columbus, Ohio), was sentenced to three years supervised release to include 180 days of home confinement.  He was also ordered to pay $26,185 in restitution and a special assessment of $100.  On January 3, 2019, Perry pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office.