New Department Of Labor Report Reveals Rampant Embezzlement By Union Employees Around U.S.

Those still holding out hope that massive labor unions around the country are anything but dens of corruption run by morally bankrupt union bosses, motivated solely by their own personal enrichment and not the best interests of their dues paying members, should probably stop reading this article now. 

For the rest of you, a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), obtained by the Detroit Free Press, proves that the corruption inside of union offices around the country is far more rampant than you ever imagined.  As the Free Press notes, in the past two years alone, more than 300 union locations have discovered embezzlement of union funds totaling millions of dollars...and that's just counting the people who got caught.

Even though the UAW is the poster child of union corruption, cases reported by the DOL involved unions representing nurses, aerospace engineers, firefighters, teachers, film and TV artists, air traffic controllers, musicians, bus inspectors, bakery workers, roofers, postal workers, machinists, ironworkers, steelworkers, dairy workers, plasterers, train operators, plumbers, stagehands, engineers, electricians, heat insulators, missile range workers and bricklayers.  Meanwhile, the various cases involve embezzlement and fraud ranging from $1,051 up to nearly $6.5 million.


Of course, the biggest and most highly publicized union embezzlement scheme of 2017 involves multiple Fiat Chrysler and UAW employees who stole millions of dollars intended for worker training...

Jerome Durden, a former financial analyst in corporate accounting at Fiat Chrysler and former Controller of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, pleaded guilty in August 2017 after preparing and filing tax returns that concealed millions of dollars in prohibited payments directed to others in 2009-15. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Alphons Iacobelli, former vice president at FCA, was charged in July 2017 with conspiracy and delivering more than $1.2 million in prohibited payments and things of value to the late General Holiefield, former vice president of the UAW, Holiefield's wife and other UAW officials. His trial is scheduled for March 19.

Monica Morgan, wife of Holiefield, was charged in July 2017 with tax evasion and conspiracy stemming from her family’s receipt of more than $1.2 million from the former vice president of FCA between 2009 and 2014. Her trial is scheduled for March 19.

Virdell King, a former assistant director of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, pleaded guilty in August 2017 to receiving more than $40,000 in prohibited payments and things of value from the former vice president of FCA and “others acting in the interest of FCA.” Payments received between 2012 and 2015 included purchases of clothing, jewelry, luggage, golf equipment, concert tickets and theme park tickets. She is scheduled to be sentenced May 1.

Al Iacobelli
Al Iacobelli, Former VP at Fiat Chrysler

...but the FCA case is hardly unique as there are literally 100's of indictments targeting union embezzlement every single year.  Here is a just a small sample of some of the largest cases noted by the DOL in 2017:

  • Laborers Local 657 in Washington, D.C., saw its business manager sentenced to four years in prison in February 2017 for embezzlement and was ordered to pay $1,632,000 in restitution. Two contractors were sent to prison and ordered to pay restitution, too.
  • The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 154 in Pittsburgh saw its former business manager plead guilty in September 2017 to embezzling approximately $1.5 million, plus tax evasion.
  • A former financial secretary for the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 970 in Norfolk, Va., was sentenced in February 2017 to 41 months in prison after stealing $1,072,669 from the union by making cash withdrawals and using money to buy gas, food, clothing, shoes, toys, entertainment and home improvement supplies.
  • A former executive director of the Hawaii Painting & Decorating Contractors Association pleaded guilty in May 2016 to embezzling approximately $1,483,800 from the Hawaii Painters Trade Promotion & Charity Fund, which comes out of the hourly wages of Painters District Council 50 in Honolulu.
  • A former union business manager for Allied Novelty and Production Workers Local 223 in New York and former president of Teamsters Local 810 in August 2016 pleaded guilty to soliciting and receive kickbacks to influence the operation of an employee benefit plan and commit theft of $1 million.

In another multimillion-dollar case, charges were filed on Jan. 9, 2017, against a former UAW president in New Jersey accused of hatching a scheme with a health insurance broker to steal $1 million from the union’s self-insured health plan and defraud Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of approximately $5.5 million.

Sergio Acosta oversaw the benefit plan for UAW Local 2326 and, authorities say, conspired with Lawrence Ackerman, who is accused of creating two shell companies to market health insurance to about 700 ineligible participants from across the country, New Jersey Advance Media reported. Acosta is accused of permitting ineligible participants to remain on the union's health care plan. No trial dates have been set. Each defendant faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.

“Unions are not unique,” said Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor who teaches law at Wayne State University. “Another group hit hard by embezzlement are churches. You can’t train people to be ethical. It’s just access to money.”  He added, "These people view themselves as overworked and underpaid. Well, I’ve just identified 80% of the country.”

Of course, so long as these union bosses continue to deliver their 100,000's of votes to the Democratic party we're certain that the likes of Bernie Sanders will continue to defend their role in stealing from helping unionized workers.

Here is the full report from the Department of Labor:

Comments Four Star Mon, 01/08/2018 - 21:26 Permalink

I find it quite amusing when ZH'ers debate this and that, back and forth.  It tickles my spastic colon. Psycho-babble, what-about-ism sycophants, Darwin Award candidates, xenophobic, tinfoil-hat-wearers,  pretzel logic, cognitive dissonance, perpetual adolescence, triggered, uninformed grovelers, grandiose techno-narcissism, debt slaves, obsequious ranters, one-syllable geniuses, warmongering cowards, egotistical gibberish hive-minders, double gas-baggers all having such a wonderful time.  Keep up the good work.  But keep in mind, ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls, it's all one big fraud.   

In reply to by Four Star

Billy the Poet Bes Mon, 01/08/2018 - 22:11 Permalink

you miss the entire point. the point is how many articles of MIC waste, corruption, theft, and bribery appear on ZH?


You've missed entire articles.


Ron Paul Warns The Big Military Spending Boost Threatens Our Economy And Security…


US Boosts Defense Spending - To What End?…


Russia's Military Is Leaner, But Meaner


Military Spending is INCREASING Unemployment and REDUCING Economic Growth…


Lots more here:…



In reply to by Bes

what happened knukles Tue, 01/09/2018 - 07:19 Permalink


It is not just the democrats.  Both parties have banded together in a free for all that includes teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers together in this co-opting of dollars.  It is the pension crisis and their realization that it depends on a ponzi. This is why they force you to get a lawyer when your child needs reading help, or why software on physicians computers tell doctors what they can tell you based on agency demands.  Very crooked.  Trump I believe is trying to clean it up.  Look at the social workers for DCF.  Some deliberately try to make cases to take children into custody through lying, coercion and fraud.  They even are allowed to lie in court according to case law.  Judges keep citizens under gag orders so that they cannot speak out. 

In reply to by knukles

LetThemEatRand Mon, 01/08/2018 - 18:33 Permalink

"there are literally 100's of indictments targeting union embezzlement every single year"

I realize this story is a hit job on unions (they are so corrupt they must be abolished!), but the flip side is to compare the number of indictments against bankers leading up to the 2007 financial crisis.  How many were there again?

It is worth repeating that America had its greatest economic success as a nation when unions were strong in the 1950's and 1960's, and CEOs of large companies did not routinely make thousands of times as much as their employees.  Unions also funded political candidates, who would actually fight for blue collar workers instead of the current system in which Goldman Sachs and their ilk are the largest contributors to both parties in any major election.  Is it ever going to be perfect?  No.  Can it be better, though?

yellowsub LetThemEatRand Mon, 01/08/2018 - 21:52 Permalink

Most European and Asian nations are mono-ethnic so whatever works in their countries will never work in the US.  

Their unions work differently, they bargain base on industry level not per company.  They're willing to control wages in tough economic times and want to work with the company like a symbiotic relationship where each benefit.

Private and public unions in the US however are parasitic in nature, it's a "Me attitude" and such make no concessions.  They will continue to drain until the host is dead.

That's the difference.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

LetThemEatRand Gap Admirer Mon, 01/08/2018 - 18:52 Permalink

Tired argument.  It doesn't take 20+ years to build a factory.  America prospered because there was a vibrant middle class that bought the cars they built, spent money (not debt) on vacations, homes, etc.  The unions did plenty of bad shit as well, but at their heart private unions are nothing more than regular workers getting together and bargaining with management.  You know, freedom of contract.  

Massive wealth inequality is not the foundation of a successful economy, unless you think a place like China is a good example of a successful economy.

In reply to by Gap Admirer

LetThemEatRand Gap Admirer Mon, 01/08/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

If it doesn't take 20 years to build a factory, why did it take 30 years for the rest of world to start challenging America as an economic powerhouse?  By your reasoning, Japan and Germany and other nations should have been kicking largely unionized America's ass within say 10 years of the end of WWII (which is still pretty generous for the time it takes to rebuild).

In reply to by Gap Admirer

LetThemEatRand JRobby Mon, 01/08/2018 - 19:27 Permalink

So all of those WWII movies I watch where the Nazis are buzzing around in cool classic Mercedes are fake?  And FYI, Toyota and Nissan started in the 1930s.  The whole reason Japan and Germany thought they could take over the world was because they had some pretty damn good manufacturing capabilities long before WWII.  The narrative that the US did well in the 1950's and 1960's "despite" unions presupposes that these countries required decades to rebuild, on which I call bullshit.

In reply to by JRobby

CapitalistRoader LetThemEatRand Tue, 01/09/2018 - 18:39 Permalink

it wasn't just German and Japanese and British factories that were destroyed, it was the entire infrastructure of the industrialized areas of those countries.  Just do an image search on ruhr valley bombed wwii aerial view or the same for Toyko.  Those countries' industrial base was pert near vaporized.  And yes, it took decades to rebuild.  From '45 to '65 US manufacturers had fat margins and were only too happy to share some of those fat profits with unions, with people working assembly lines who didn't need even a high school education to make high wages.

Americans were fat and happy until Germany and Japan started coming back in the mid-60s.  And adding insult to injury, after Mao kicked the bucket Deng proclaimed in '79 To be rich is to be glorious, adding another billion people to compete with US factories.

Why is it that when conservative pine for the 1950s it's bad but when progressives do they same it's good?

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

Doom Porn Star LetThemEatRand Mon, 01/08/2018 - 21:30 Permalink

Unions are like insurance companies.

When run properly the rank vested avoid economic destruction via resource pooling -while the management get wealthy on excessive skimming the pooled funds.

When run improperly the skimming simply leaves little or nothing of the pooled resources to be re-distributed to the rank vested.



1. Unions used to fight for equal protections of ALL members.  Now they fight for almost exclusively to protect the fiefdoms and percs of 'leadership' and legacy members, and stack the deck against new membership with shitty contracts that divide the distribution of rewards and protections to working rank members arbitrarily.

2. Union 'leadership' routinely sell out their membership by gifting the hard earned dues to political causes that the rank have no say or veto in directing or restraining.

3. Union 'leadership' simply lie to the members regularly regarding existing contracts, rules, negotiations, etc..

4. Unions never put minimum wages and benefits packages together.  Contracts CAP pay and benefits synthetically providing moral and legal cover for the use of inflation, medical costs gouging, etc. to impoverish and trap labor in a spiral of ever shrinking real compensations..


IMHO: one of the worst things a person can do is cede control to people who contrive to place CEILINGS on compensation structures instead of placing minimum FLOORS under them...

In reply to by LetThemEatRand