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Union Facts

Laborers

Indictments

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
November 19th, 2015On November 19, 2015, in the Third Judicial District in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, Daniel Correa, business agent for Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 16 (located in Albuquerque, N.M.), was indicted for one count of embezzlement (over $20,000), in violation of NMSA 30-16-8. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.
October 23rd, 2015On October 23, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Anthony Frederick, former business manager of Laborers Local 657 (located in Washington, D.C.), Christopher Kwegan, co-owner of STS Construction, and Gary Cooper, co-owner of STS Construction, were indicted on embezzlement from a labor organization, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c); conspiracy to embezzle from a labor organization, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371; unlawful labor payments, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 186; conspiracy to commit unlawful labor payments, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371; wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343; honest services fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1346; money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1957; and aiding and abetting, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2. The indictment alleges, among other things, that Frederick paid nearly $1.1 million to STS Construction for minimal renovations done on the union administrative building and $580,000 to STS Construction, which was gross overpayment, for expediting permits on the union training center being worked on by another construction company. The indictment also alleges that STS Construction paid $225,000 for a down payment on a house for Frederick and more than $600,000 to a corporation owned in part by FrederickÕs wife. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the Department of LaborÕs Office of Inspector General, and the FBI.
October 5th, 2015On October 5, 2015, in the Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona, Anne Louise Susan, former business manager of Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 1386 (located in Phoenix, Ariz.), was charged in a 24-count indictment for Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, in violation of Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) 13-2310, a class 4 felony (1 count); Theft, in violation of A.R.S. 13-1802, a class 3 felony (1 count); Forgery, in violation of A.R.S. 13-2002, a class 4 felony (21 counts); and Taking the Identity of Another, in violation of A.R.S. 13-2008, a class 4 felony (1 count). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Phoenix Resident Investigative Office.
October 5th, 2015On October 5, 2015, in the Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona, Therlen Mayne Benally, former Treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 1386 (located in Phoenix, Ariz.), was charged in a 29-count indictment for Facilitation of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, in violation of Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 13-2310 and 13-1004, a class 6 felony (1 count); Theft, in violation of A.R.S. 13-1802, a class 6 felony (1 count); and Forgery, in violation of A.R.S. 13-2002, a class 4 felony (27 counts). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Phoenix Resident Investigative Office.
August 7th, 2015On August 7, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Carolyn Hall, bookkeeper for Laborers Local 1197 (located in McLeansboro, Ill.), pled guilty to embezzlement, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). On April 23, 2015, Hall was indicted for one count of embezzling $26,491 in union funds. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.
April 23rd, 2015On April 23, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Carolyn Hall, former bookkeeper for LaborersÕ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 1197 (located in McLeansboro, Ill.), was indicted on one count of embezzling $26,491 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.
August 2nd, 2011On August 2, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Grace Rathke, former office manager for Laborers Local 32 (located in Rockford, Ill.), was indicted on 10 counts of embezzling approximately $200,000 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General.
March 9th, 2011On March 9, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Mark A. Winston, former President of Laborers Local 509 (located in St. Louis, Mo.), was indicted on one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $11,057. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.
June 15th, 2010On June 15, 2010, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Donna Cooper, former Business Manager for Laborers Local 888 (located in Muskogee, Oklahoma), was indicted for embezzling union funds. Cooper is alleged to have used Local 888’s ATM card to make unauthorized cash withdrawals and purchases totaling $69,322. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.
April 28th, 2010On April 28, 2010, in the United States District Court of Nevada, Aundrea Valerio, Stacy Johnson and Aurora Rios, former employees of Laborers Local 872 (located in Las Vegas, Nev.), were indicted on charges of embezzling union funds and multiple counts of falsifying union records. Valerio was charged with embezzling approximately $13,500, Johnson was charged with embezzling approximately $45,500, and Rios was charged with embezzling approximately $167,500. The indictments follow an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.
July 23rd, 2008On July 23, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Steven Thomas, former Business Manager of Laborers Local 500 (located in Toledo, Ohio), was indicted on two counts of embezzling union funds in the amount of $28,500. The indictment follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office, the FBI, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.
May 14th, 2008On May 14, 2008, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, Rhonda Holmes, former Secretary-Treasurer of Laborers Local 481 (located in Baltimore, Md.), was indicted on one count of theft for allegedly stealing $6,349.55 from the local. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
September 25th, 2007On September 25, 2007, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Frank M. McEvoy, former Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer for Laborers Locals 1370 and 123, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $11,167.50 from Local 1370 and one count of embezzling union funds totaling $23,779 from Local 123. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Nashville District Office.
August 10th, 2005On August 10, 2005, in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, Thomas Brewster, former secretary-treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 976 in Portsmouth, NH, was indicted on charges of embezzling more than $150,000 between May 17, 2003, and December 27, 2004. The indictment follows an investigation by the Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General and the OLMS Boston District Office.
August 2nd, 2005On August 2, 2005, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Mario Garafola, an organized crime associate, was sentenced to three years imprisonment and was ordered to pay $30,000 in forfeiture to the United States Government and $1.9 million in restitution. Garafola previously pled guilty to charges filed in an indictment involving conspiracy to commit Mail Fraud, Paying Money from an Employer to a Representative of Employees; Committing Money Laundering; Obstructing Justice by Tampering with a Witness; Obstructing Justice by Withholding Documents from a Grand Jury; and Embezzling Moneys of Employee Benefit Plans. The labor corruption scheme concerning the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority's Building at 2 Broadway involved multiple unions including Elevator Constructors Local One, Operating Engineers Local 14, and Laborers Local 79. On June 20, 2005, in the same court, Laborers Local 79 Business Agent Junior Campbell was sentenced to probation as a result of his guilty plea to charges of making false statements. Also on June 20, 2005, Richard Calaboro was sentenced to five months imprisonment and ordered to pay $8,626 in restitution. Calaboro was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice based on his false testimony before the grand jury regarding the no-show job obtained by Mario Garafola at Building Core Construction. This investigation was conducted jointly by the OLMS New York District Office and the FBI.
September 15th, 2004On September 15, 2004, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, a superceding indictment was filed against four individuals for their criminal involvement in the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) 2 Broadway Project. Junior Campbell, a Business Agent of Laborers Local 79; Edward Garafola, a soldier in the Gambino crime family; Mario Garafola, an associate of the Gambino family; and Richard Calabro, Mario Garafola's brother-in-law, were all charged with multiple crimes. The crimes charged in the indictment included RICO, money laundering, extortion, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, perjury, unlawful labor payments, and embezzlement of employee benefit funds. The indictment estimated a monetary loss for the project in "excess" of $10 million. In addition, the guilty plea of Frederick Contini, the project developer, was unsealed. Elevator Constructors Local One, Operating Engineers Local 14, and Laborers Local 79 are involved in this ongoing joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the FBI.
July 7th, 2004On July 7, 2004, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, an indictment was filed against Brian K. Payne, former office manager of Laborers' Local 1392, charging him with one count of embezzling approximately $5,830 in union funds. The charges follow an investigation by the Cincinnati District Office.
May 13th, 2004On May 13, 2004, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Jennifer Phillips, former office secretary for Laborers Local 1073, was sentenced to five months home confinement followed by three years probation for embezzlement. Phillips was also ordered to pay a special court assessment of $100.00 and to make restitution of $35,040.96 in 36 monthly payments of $973.36. She was indicted on November 21, 2003, and pled guilty on February 17, 2004, following an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.
February 17th, 2004On February 17, 2004, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Jennifer L. Phillips, former office secretary for Laborers Local 1073, pled guilty to one count of a 27-count indictment charging her with embezzling $34,427.74 in union funds. Phillips was charged on November 21, 2003. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.
November 21st, 2003On November 21, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Jennifer Phillips, former office secretary for Laborers Local 1073, was indicted on 27 counts of embezzling union funds in the amount of $34,427.74. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.
May 9th, 2003On May 9, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Clyde Howard Starkey, former member of Laborers Local 177, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, three years probation, and ordered to make restitution of $28,905. Starkey was indicted on November 20, 2002 and on January 16, 2003, he pled guilty to conspiring to embezzle union funds. Specifically, Starkey received and cashed $28,905 in union checks (to which he had no legitimate claim) and returned a portion of the proceeds to former Local 177 Business Manager Fred Risius. Risius is currently serving fifteen months in the penitentiary for embezzling in excess of $100,000 from the local. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.
March 27th, 2003On March 27, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Joleen Coughlon, former office secretary of Laborers Local 177, pled guilty to embezzling union funds and making a false entry in a union record. She had been indicted on November 20, 2002 following an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office. She is the fifth defendant to have pled guilty to the embezzlement of funds from Local 177.
January 14th, 2003On January 14, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Clyde Starkey, former member of Laborers Local 177 in Des Moines, pled guilty to conspiracy to embezzle union funds. Starkey was indicted on November 19, 2002, for cashing $28,905 in union checks payable to the fictitious Starkey Construction Company and then splitting the proceeds with the Local 177 business manager. The investigation was conducted by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.
December 12th, 2002On December 12, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Cheryl Rowe, former secretary of Laborers Local 80, pled guilty to one count of embezzling $93,430 in union funds. She had been indicted on March 15, 2002, following an investigation by the OLMS New Orleans District Office and the Department of Labor's Office of the Inspector General.
November 20th, 2002On November 20, 2002, in United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Joleen Coughlon, former secretary, and Clyde Starkey, former member, were indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to embezzle the funds of Laborers Local 177 in Des Moines, Iowa. The indictment details separate activities whereby the two participated in embezzlement schemes with the previously indicted local president, Fred Risius. Starkey is charged with receiving and cashing $28,905 in union checks to which he had no legitimate claim and returning a portion of the proceeds to Risius. The indictment alleges that Coughlon accepted gifts paid for by the union by issuing fictitious payee checks to Risius from the local strike fund. Coughlon is also charged with the unauthorized receipt of strike fund checks and the falsification of related records. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.
August 23rd, 2002On August 23, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Linda G. Chargois, former office secretary of Laborers Local 80, was sentenced to three months imprisonment followed by three years probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $35,171.10. She had pled guilty on April 1, 2002, and had been indicted on January 9, 2002, following an investigation by the OLMS New Orleans District Office and the Department of Labor's Office of the Inspector General.
April 1st, 2002On April 1, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Linda G. Chargois, former office secretary for Laborers Local 80, pled guilty to count one (charging her with embezzling $57) of a 29-count indictment that had charged her with embezzling a total of $35,171 in union funds. She had been indicted on January 9, 2002, following an investigation by the OLMS New Orleans District Office.
March 15th, 2002On March 15, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Cheryl Rowe, former office secretary of Laborers Local 80, was charged in a one-count indictment with embezzling $93,430 in union funds. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS New Orleans District Office and the Department of Labor's Office of the Inspector General.
January 9th, 2002On January 9, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Linda Chargois, former office secretary of Laborers Local 80, was indicted on 29 counts of embezzling $35,171 in union funds. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS New Orleans District Office and the Department of Labor's Office of the Inspector General.
June 21st, 2001On June 21, 2001, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Jeremias Z. Lopez, former business manager/secretary-treasurer of Laborers Local 220, was indicted on one count of embezzling $10,814 in union funds and one count of falsifying union records. This case was investigated by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office jointly with the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General.
May 31st, 2001On May 31, 2001, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, a two-count indictment was returned charging Patricia Smith, former office secretary for the Laborers Alabama District Council, with one count of embezzling $21,687.85 in union funds and one count of making false entries in records required to be maintained. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS Birmingham Resident Investigator Office.