Teamster official sentenced in embezzlement case

It’s hard to imagine what drives a person to steal money from an employer or an organization. In some instances it is out of necessity and in others it’s for the thrill of getting away with it. Whatever the reason, when a person is caught the consequences can be severe. This was the case for a Teamsters union official who was sentenced to federal prison for stealing from an Atlanta, Georgia, local.

The man, 36, was embezzling funds from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 1129, for five years. According to prosecutors, during this time he made 285 unauthorized purchases and withdrawals using a union-issued credit card. In addition, it was found that he had also submitted false fuel and travel expense claims for reimbursement.

Financial scrutiny is becoming more important for labor organizations and the Georgia Attorney’s Office has stated that they are committed to addressing financial abuse and embezzlement within labor organizations.

While we don’t know the circumstances as to why this man chose to embezzle funds, every person deserves the opportunity for legal representation. If you find yourself in a situation where you have been accused of embezzling funds, a criminal defense attorney may be able to clear your name and possibly avoid prison time. For those who are convicted, their attorney may be able to minimize or eliminate prison time, leaving the individual with a fine or alternative sentence.

In this case, the man was ordered to repay more than half of the approximately $60,000 he stole from the union and will have to serve a prison sentence as well as three years’ supervised release.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “N. Georgia union official gets prison for stealing,” Christopher Seward, Nov. 8, 2012