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Union Facts

Operating Engineers

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
December 16th, 2015On December 16, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, John Hamilton, former business manager of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 324 (located in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), was charged in a nine-count indictment with one count of interference with commerce by extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion (18 U.S.C. 1951); one count of attempted structuring of financial transactions (31 U.S.C. 5324(a)(3)); one count of laundering of monetary instruments (18 U.S.C. 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) & (B)(ii)); one count of embezzlement of union funds (29 U.S.C. 501(c)); two counts of conspiracy to embezzle union funds (18 U.S.C. 371 & 29 U.S.C. 501(c)); one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an employee or welfare benefit fund (18 U.S.C. 371 & 664); and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services mail and wire fraud (18 U.S.C. 1349). The charges follow a joint investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of LaborÕs Office of Inspector General, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.
June 19th, 2015On June 19, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Steven Minella, former President and business agent of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 324 (located in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), was charged in a one-count information with misprision of a felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 4, for failing to report to appropriate authorities the commission of extortion (18 U.S.C. 1951) by another Local 324 official. The charge follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of LaborÕs Office of Inspector General, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.
March 25th, 2014On March 25, 2014, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Ronald Martin, former bookkeeper for International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 9 (located in Denver, Colo.), was sentenced to five months of probation and was ordered to pay restitution of $30,338 and a $200 assessment. At the time of his sentencing, Martin also petitioned the court for an exemption from the Section 504 bar prohibiting him from serving as a union official or employee for 13 years following his conviction; the judge denied his request. On November 14, 2013, Martin pled guilty to a two-count information charging him with embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.
October 1st, 2013On October 1, 2013, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Ronald Martin, former bookkeeper for International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 9 (located in Denver, Colo.), was charged in an information with embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver District Office.
October 1st, 2012On October 1, 2012, Ronald Witt, former business manager and JATC Trustee of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 450 in Houston, Texas, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $198,333 in restitution. In January 2012, Witt pled guilty to one count of conspiring to embezzle union funds. Witt stole nearly $200,000 and used the money to pay for luxury trips for himself and friends, to remodel his home, and for other personal expenses. Witt’s wife, Anita Witt, former Local 450 Financial Secretary and the committee’s coordinator, was also charged with conspiracy and embezzlement from an employee benefit plan. Those charges were dismissed following the acceptance of responsibility and sentencing of her husband as agreed to in Ronald Witt’s plea agreement. This investigation was conducted jointly with the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
July 8th, 2011On July 8, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, an indictment was unsealed upon the arrest of Ronald Wayne Witt, former Business Manager of Operating Engineers Local 450 (located in Houston, Tex.) and a former Trustee of Local 450’s Apprenticeship Committee (located in Alvin, Tex.), and Anita Witt, former Financial Secretary of Local 450 and Coordinator of Local 450’s Apprenticeship Committee. They were indicted for conspiracy and theft of labor union funds and apprenticeship funds from May 2007 until April 2009, totaling no less than $150,273.36. The charges and arrests follow a joint investigation conducted by the OLMS Houston Resident Investigator Office and the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
May 27th, 2010On May 27, 2010, in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, Cheryl Staley, former dues clerk of Operating Engineers Local 501 (located in Los Angeles, Calif.), pled guilty to a two-count information charging her with embezzling union funds in the amount of $231,653.89 and falsifying records. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.
March 22nd, 2010On March 22, 2010, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, William Dugan, former President of Operating Engineers Local 150 (located in Countryside, Ill.) pled guilty to one count of accepting and receiving the delivery of concrete buffalo feeders (value of over $900) from an employer whose employees the union represents. On March 10, 2010, an information filed charging Dugan with a misdemeanor count of receiving and accepting a thing of value from an employer whose employees were represented by the union in which the he was an officer. The plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Department of Labor’s Employment Benefit Security Administration, and the FBI.
May 7th, 2004On May 7, 2004, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Michael Weiss, a contractor, pled guilty to an information charging him with obstruction of justice and making a false statement. Weiss was involved in a $10 million fraud against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in the renovation of its new headquarters at 2 Broadway in New York City. In April 2003, an indictment was filed against seven individuals including a developer, officers from Operating Engineers Local 14 and members of Elevator Constructors, Local One. Weiss' guilty plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the FBI.
October 10th, 2003On October 10, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Matthew Downey, a representative of Elevator Constructor Local One, was sentenced to 78 months imprisonment and three years supervised release. He was ordered to pay a total of $2.6 million in restitution for fraud involving a no-show elevator operator scheme against Local One and to forfeit the sum of $800,000 for his involvement in the Local One racketeering enterprise. Downey, jointly and severally with other co-conspirators, was ordered to pay $7 million in restitution for fraud involving the 2 Broadway Project. On February 5, 2002, Downey was indicted for unlawful activity involving Elevator Constructors Local One. Additionally, there were 27 members of Local One, including two business agents, indicted for their involvement in the no-show scheme at 19 different construction sites in New York City. On April 16, 2002, in a separate indictment, Downey was charged, along with seven other individuals (including the developer of the 2 Broadway Project, the Operating Engineers Local 14 treasurer, and Elevator Constructor Local One representatives), for defrauding the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority and ZAR Realty of more than $10 million in construction money that was intended for vertical transportation costs on the 2 Broadway project. On April 24, 2003, Downey pled guilty to various charges in both indictments. The guilty plea and sentence follow a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the FBI.
September 12th, 2003On September 12, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, James Roemer, former treasurer of Operating Engineers Local 14, was sentenced to 41 months imprisonment and three years probation for conspiracy to receive, possess, and dispose of money obtained by fraud and transported across state lines; making and receiving unlawful labor payments; engaging in unlawful monetary transactions; obstruction of justice; conspiracy to defraud the United States; and tax evasion. He was ordered to pay a total of $2.7 million in restitution and to forfeit $800,000 to the United States Government within 90 days of his guilty plea. He had been indicted on April 16, 2002, along with seven other individuals, including the developer of the 2 Broadway Project and Elevator Constructor Local One representatives, for illegal activity relating to defrauding the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority and ZAR Realty of more than $10 million in construction money that was intended for vertical transportation costs on the 2 Broadway project. On April 3, 2003, Roemer pled guilty to the charges following a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the FBI.
April 11th, 2003On April 11, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Morris Diminno, a former representative of Operating Engineers Local 14, pled guilty to conspiracy to receive, possess and dispose of money obtained by fraud and transported across state lines, unlawful labor payment, engaging in an unlawful monetary transaction, and obstruction of justice. He agreed to forfeit $800,000 to the United States Government within 90 days from various assets. He had been indicted on April 16, 2002 on charges relating to fraud against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and ZAR Realty in connection with the renovation of MTA headquarters. The charges had been brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the FBI.
November 22nd, 2002On November 22, 2002, Edward Carroll, a prominent figure in construction development in New York City and the vice president of 2 BW Development, was sentenced in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York for obstruction of justice. The charges were filed in connection with Carroll's appearance before a federal grand jury on December 11, 2001 and January 8, 2002, at which time he provided false information to the grand jury. Carroll was sentenced to five months in jail, five months home detention, and ordered to pay a $150.00 fine. Carroll also lost his architecture license as a result of the conviction. The investigation is in connection with the $10 million fraud case arising out of the renovation of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's new headquarters. Individuals affiliated with Elevator Constructors Local One and Operating Engineers Local 14 were part of the indictment filed on April 16, 2002. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the FBI.
November 14th, 2002On November 14, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, John L. Dorrier Jr., former business agent of Operating Engineers Local 66, pled guilty to three counts of a 10-count indictment charging him with embezzlement of union funds, forgery, and interference with the administration of Internal Revenue laws. Dorrier falsified 976 picket expense vouchers by completing them in the names of union members and others who had not done any picketing and approximately 104 fictitious picketers. Dorrier routinely obtained checks from the union and forged payee signature endorsements before depositing or cashing the checks into his personal bank account. Annually the checks to each fictitious picketer purposely totaled less than $600, a threshold amount that would have triggered the required filing of IRS Form 1099. Dorrier has agreed to make restitution to the union in the amount of $56,195.00 and to take responsibility for a tax loss to the Internal Revenue Service in an amount between $23,500.00 and $40,000.00. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office and the Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.
August 7th, 2002On August 7, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, John L. Dorrier, Jr., former business manager of Operating Engineers Local 66, was indicted for embezzlement of union funds, bank fraud, forgery, and interference with the administration of Internal Revenue Laws. The indictment alleged that he falsified 976 picket expense vouchers causing the union to issue checks that he cashed for a total of approximately $14,400 from August 8, 1997 through November 1998. He is alleged to have previously converted $37,295 in union funds to his own use from 1992 through August 7, 1997. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.
June 4th, 2002On June 4, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Edward Carroll, vice president of 2 BW Development Corporation, pled guilty to an information charging him with obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1503 and 3551. The charges were filed in connection with false information that he provided to a Federal grand jury. This prosecution resulted from a case relating to the April 16, 2002, indictment of seven individuals involved in a $10 million fraud against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the renovation of their new headquarters at 2 Broadway in lower Manhattan. The seven individuals included a developer, union officials from Operating Engineers Local 14, and members of Elevator Constructors, Local One, as well as two other individuals. This money was intended for vertical transportation costs relating to Elevator Constructors, Local One and Operating Engineers, Local 14 elevator operators. A substantial amount went to Frederick Contini, owner of 2BW Development, in the form of cash kickbacks for his participation in the scheme. Carroll, who was partners with Contini, submitted false invoices to the MTA from a subcontractor known as Links. These invoices purporting to be from Links totaled in excess of $13 million and were prepared by Carroll under the direction of Contini. When asked questions concerning the handling of Links invoices, Carroll misled the grand jury by leading it to believe that Links invoices had been handled like other invoices in the normal course of business. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the FBI, and the IRS.
April 16th, 2002On April 16, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Frederick Contini, the developer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's new headquarters at 2 Broadway in Manhattan; James Roemer, the treasurer of Operating Engineers Local 14; Morris Diminno, a Local 14 shop steward; Matthew Joseph Downey and David Coakley, members of Elevator Constructors Local 1; Constantine Vafias, a construction contractor; and John Vitiello were indicted on 55 counts relating to a $10,000,000 fraud against the Transportation Authority in connection with the renovation of its new headquarters. Charges in the indictment include interstate transportation of property or money obtained by fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, unlawful payments to union officials and representatives, money laundering, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and conspiracy. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the FBI.