The founder and president of the National Association of Special Police and Security Officers (NASPSO) was sentenced to 76 months in prison today for stealing union treasury and pension funds, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Caleb Gray-Burriss, 62, of Washington, D.C., was convicted on Dec. 4, 2012, of six counts of mail fraud, seven counts of theft from a labor organization, one count each of obstruction of justice and criminal contempt, and three counts of union recordkeeping offenses. Gray-Burriss was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts of the District of Columbia and ordered to pay $252,000 in restitution and to perform 100 hours of community service. Because of these convictions Gray-Burris is also now disqualified by federal law from serving as an officer or being employed by a labor union or employee benefit plan until 13 years following his release from prison.
NASPSO represents private security guards assigned to protect federal buildings in the metro Washington area. According to the evidence at trial, from approximately June 2004 through February 2011, Gray-Burriss wrote numerous checks to himself or to other third parties from the NASPSO pension plan checking account. Gray-Burriss spent more than $100,000 of the pension plan funds in this way, while falsely maintaining it was an operational fund that he was properly administering and that was providing benefits to the beneficiaries. The evidence further showed that Gray-Burriss committed criminal contempt of a court order addressing his prior misappropriation of pension and health plan funds after Gray-Burriss resumed his scheme in 2009 to defraud employers and NASPSO members of pension funds.
In addition, the evidence presented at trial showed that Gray-Burriss, while an officer and employee of NASPSO, stole over $150,000 in NASPSO funds consisting of cash withdrawals to himself, unauthorized salary increases and bonuses to himself and another person, fraudulently drawn checks to himself – purportedly for employment taxes on behalf of NASPSO – and unlawfully used NASPSO funds to pay his personal fines in a civil lawsuit.
The jury also found that Gray-Burriss committed obstruction of justice by destroying or concealing NASPSO financial records during a grand jury investigation; failing to file required annual reports on behalf of NASPSO, falsifying those reports, and failing to maintain properly the records of NASPSO.
The investigation was conducted by agents and investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor. Trial Attorney Vincent J. Falvo of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Trial Attorney Tracee Plowell, of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section prosecuted the case.