Union Embezzlement Bulk of OLMS October Convictions, Indictments

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards obtained 10 criminal convictions, nine indictments and more than $625,000 in restitution in October. The bulk of the cases involved the embezzlement of union funds including two AFGE officers from Pennsylvania who stole more than $180,000 from their chapter. The office's October results are also the totals for fiscal year 2009, which began on October 1, 2008.

"OLMS had another strong month of criminal enforcement in October, and union members are the beneficiaries. Our pursuit of individuals who abuse their positions of trust has resulted in successful prosecutions that we hope will deter others in the future," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Standards Don Todd. "Through our enforcement efforts last month, OLMS was able to secure convictions against 10 people, and obtain payment or court orders for restitution of more than $625,000 for hard-working union members."

One such conviction was that of Lawrence Marable and Deborah Powell, former president and treasurer, respectively, of AFGE Local 1793, which represents employees at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Both were sentenced on a seven-count indictment that included one count of conspiracy, five counts of theft of property and one count of making false statements. Both will be incarcerated and pay restitutions of $184,129.85 each.

OLMS is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for administering most provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). The agency's criminal enforcement program includes investigations of embezzlement from labor organizations, extortionate picketing, deprivation of union members' rights by force or violence, and fraud in union officer elections. The agency's civil program receives and publicly discloses unions' annual financial reports, conducts compliance audits of labor unions and seeks civil remedies for violations of officer election procedures.

In certain cases, OLMS also conducts joint investigations with other Labor Department agencies, including the Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Office of Inspector General, as well as other law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

OLMS's public disclosure Web site at www.unionreports.gov contains union annual financial reports and additional reports required to be filed under the LMRDA as well as copies of collective bargaining agreements. Other information, including synopses of OLMS enforcement actions, is available at www.olms.dol.gov.

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