Center for Union Facts logo

Union Facts

Service Employees

embezzlement 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 6th, 2013On December 6, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Cedric Earl Hughes, former Staff Union Treasurer of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721, United Union Professionals (located in Los Angeles, Calif.), was indicted on five counts of wire fraud and one count embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343 and 29 U.S.C. 501(c), respectively. Hughes, who served in his position from March 2009 through June 2010, wrote unauthorized checks to himself and made unauthorized cash withdrawals and debit card transactions with the union’s debit card totaling $15,194. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.
October 7th, 2013On October 7, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Central District of Los Angeles, Tyrone Ricky Freeman, former President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 6434 (located in Los Angeles, Calif.), was sentenced to 33 months of imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $123,539 and a $1,100 special assessment. On January 28, 2013, Freeman was convicted of four counts mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341; one count making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1014; and six counts of embezzlement of labor union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office, Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.
July 12th, 2013On July 12, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Sofia Gonzalez, former bookkeeper for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925 (located in Vancouver, Wash.), was sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to pay restitution totaling $40,087. On April 25, 2013, Gonzalez pled guilty to a single count of embezzling labor union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.
July 12th, 2013On July 12, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Sofia Gonzalez, former bookkeeper for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925 (located in Vancouver, Wash.), was sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to pay restitution totaling $40,087. On April 25, 2013, Gonzalez pled guilty to a single count of embezzling labor union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.
February 27th, 2013On February 27, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Sofia Gonzalez, former bookkeeper for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 95 (located in Seattle, Wash.), was charged with embezzling $40,087 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c), and bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344. The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.
January 28th, 2013On January 28, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Central District of Los Angeles, a jury found Tyrone Ricky Freeman, former President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Locals 6434 and 434-B (located in Los Angeles, Calif.), guilty of four counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341; seven counts of embezzlement and/or theft of labor union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c); one count of making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution, in violation of 18 U.S.C 1014; and two counts of subscribing to a false tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7206(1) following a 10-day trial. On July 31, 2012, Freeman was indicted by a federal grand jury. The sentencing is scheduled for April 22, 2013. The guilty verdict follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office, Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.
July 31st, 2012On July 31, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Tyrone Freeman, former President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 6434 (located in Los Angeles, Calif.), was indicted on four counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341; seven counts of embezzlement of union funds totaling $29,416.62, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c); one count of making false statements to a federally insured institution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1014; and three counts of subscribing to a false tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7206. The indictment follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office, Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.
February 17th, 2010On February 17, 2010, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, an information was filed charging Pamela Williams, former travel/procurement coordinator of Service Employees Union Local 880 (located in Chicago, Ill.), with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $6,080. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.
May 25th, 2007On May 25, 2007, in Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Quentin Womack, former Secretary-Treasurer of Service Employees International Union, Conference of Firemen and Oilers Local 1050, pled guilty to one count of second degree theft and was subsequently sentenced to 120 days suspended sentence, nine months of supervised probation and ordered to make restitution. On March 28, 2007, Womack was charged with one count of First Degree Theft for embezzling $3,326.80 from the union. The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
February 8th, 2007On February 8, 2007, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Debra M. Timko and Danny L. Iverson, former Presidents of Service Employees, Local 150, were charged in a 33-count superseding indictment with mail and wire fraud, embezzlement, and failure to maintain union records as part of a scheme to defraud the union of over $90,000. The indictment supersedes a March 21, 2006 indictment. Timko and Iverson allegedly schemed to defraud the union by receiving duplicate payments for expenses, receiving reimbursement for charges to a union credit card, and receiving reimbursement for meal expenses incurred on days in which they claimed and received a full day of per diem. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Milwaukee District Office.
April 4th, 2006On April 4, 2006, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, Darnell Smith, former bookkeeper for Service Employees (SEIU) Local 36, plead guilty to theft by deception for embezzling approximately $70,420.00 in union funds. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office.
May 13th, 2003On May 13, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Adela Tongson, former employee of Service Employees Local 250, was indicted on two counts of embezzling a total of $100,000 in union funds. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS San Francisco District Office and the FBI.
July 11th, 2001On July 11, 2001, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Nancy Groome, former secretary-treasurer of the Civil Service Employees Association, Local 316 of the State, County, and Municipal Employees, pled guilty to one count of embezzling $111,476.48 in union funds. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.