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American Federation of Teachers

criminal charges

Office of Labor-Management Enforcement

The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) conducts both civil and criminal investigations of alleged violations of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and related laws.

These investigations by OLMS District Offices involve issues such as embezzlements of union funds, union officer elections, the filing of required reports by unions and others with OLMS, and the imposition of trusteeships over subordinate unions by a parent body. These investigations may result in legal enforcement actions.

DateDescription
August 27th, 2010On August 27, 2010, in the United States District Court for the District of Maine, Bernadette Beal, former President of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Downeast Federation of Healthcare Professionals Local 5073 (located in Milbridge, Maine), pled guilty to an information charging her with embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $25,536.91. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston District Office.
July 9th, 2008On July 9, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Grace Gaines, former Treasurer of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 4973 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.), was charged with forty-three individual counts of embezzling union funds totaling $15,597.99. Gaines is alleged to have issued unauthorized checks from the union's account payable to herself and cashed checks made payable to the local. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.
June 2nd, 2005On June 2, 2005, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, an information was filed against Robin Klein, an outside accountant hired by the Washington Teachers' Union (WTU), charging her with two counts of failing to disclose material facts in a trial balance that she prepared for the WTU. The information alleges that the trial balance was then used by a union officer to file a false Form LM-2 report. Klein pled guilty to both counts on this date. The information supersedes an indictment against Klein filed on November 20, 2003. Moreover, the information and plea are part of an ongoing investigation of the WTU conducted by the OLMS Washington District Office, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
February 10th, 2004On February 10, 2004, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, an information was filed against Cheryl Martin, the daughter of a former executive assistant of Washington Teacher's Union (WTU), charging her with conspiracy to launder more than $480,000 in union funds. The charges allege that Martin's husband, Michael Martin, and Errol Alderman set up a fictitious company that they and Cheryl Martin used to launder money back to an officer and an employee of the union. Michael and Cheryl Martin also used a portion of the laundered money for personal purchases. On the same date as the indictment, Cheryl Martin pled guilty to the charge following an ongoing investigation of the Washington Teachers' Union by the OLMS Washington District Office, the FBI, the IRS and the United States Attorney's Office.
October 7th, 2003On October 7, 2003, in United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Barbara Bullock, former president of the Washington Teachers Union, pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and aiding and abetting, and one count of conspiracy to embezzle union funds. On October 3, 2003, an information was filed alleging that Bullock and others embezzled over $2.5 million. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for January 2004; Bullock faces up to 10 years imprisonment as well as significant fines. The charges and guilty plea are part of an ongoing investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the FBI, the IRS, and the United States Attorney's Office.
October 3rd, 2003On October 3, 2003, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, an information was filed against former Washington Teachers' Union President Barbara Bullock charging her with one count of mail fraud and aiding and abetting and one count of conspiracy to embezzle union funds. The information states that Bullock and others embezzled over $2.5 million by committing the following acts: making personal charges on the union's credit cards; writing and causing the writing of improper union checks to herself and others with false purposes written on the checks; writing and causing the writing of union checks to intermediaries who laundered the funds and shared the proceeds; and fraudulently instructing the District of Columbia Government to withhold $144 more than the lawful dues deduction from the paychecks of approximately 5,000 union members and then using most of this money for personal reasons. The information also charges Bullock and others, including outside accountants, with filing false Form LM-2 reports and false Form 990s. The charges are part of an ongoing investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the FBI, the IRS, and the United States Attorney's Office.
September 30th, 2003On September 30, 2003, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, an information was filed charging Errol Alderman, a District of Columbia government employee, with one count of conspiracy to launder money as part of a scheme to embezzle funds from the Washington Teachers' Union. The information states that Alderman conspired to launder approximately $483,000 through a shell company called Expressions Unlimited. The charge is part of an ongoing investigation of the Washington Teachers' Union by the OLMS Washington District Office, the FBI, the IRS and the United States Attorney's Office.
April 11th, 2003On April 11, 2003, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Michael Martin pled guilty to money laundering for conspiring to launder more than $500,000 in Washington Teachers Union (WTU) funds. Martin and a "business" associate opened a bank account under a fictitious company called Expressions Unlimited at the request of the WTU President and the WTU Executive Assistant. WTU funds were paid to Expressions Unlimited and then most of those funds were returned to the WTU President and Executive Assistant. Expressions Unlimited never provided any services to the union. Martin used some of the WTU money in the Expressions Unlimited bank account for personal purposes including his mortgage payment, private school tuition for his children, credit card bills, car payments, and vehicle repairs. Martin also received WTU funds for providing personal services to the WTU President, including styling her hair, shopping, and giving fashion advice. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the FBI, the IRS, and other law enforcement agencies.
April 2nd, 2003On April 2, 2003, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, a criminal information was filed charging Michael Martin with money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1956(h), for conspiring to launder more than $1 million in Washington Teachers' Union funds in furtherance of an embezzlement from the union. Martin is the son-in-law of the former executive assistant of the union. The charges state that he was involved in setting up a fictitious company to launder most of the money back to an officer and an employee of the union. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies.