(STL.News) – A former finance officer for a labor union today admitted stealing $117,000 from his union’s operating accounts, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Angel L. Garcia, 57, of Tampa, Florida, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with one count of embezzling from the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 1614, in Sussex County, New Jersey.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Garcia was a bus driver who held a part-time position at Local 1614. Garcia was elected by the membership, every three years, as the union’s financial secretary, and served in that position from June 2014 through May 2019. As such, Mr. Garcia was a fiduciary who occupied a position of trust and was obligated to act solely in the interests of the membership. As the financial secretary, he alone was responsible for maintaining the check book and other financial documents of the union. However, without executive board approval, Garcia withdrew approximately $117,000 from the union’s three bank accounts to pay for his rent, utilities, telephone and other personal goods and services.
The embezzlement charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards, under the direction of Adriana Vamvakas, Regional Director; and special agents of the Department of Labor (OIG), New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Mikulka, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.