Five Individuals Sentenced For Theft From Union Fund
Orlando, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp yesterday sentenced five individuals for their roles in stealing from an employee benefit plan of a local union. James McCall (32, Orange City) was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $93,405.89 in restitution. Ian Chase Dove (26, Orange City) was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $18,662.70 in restitution. Jason Wesson (37, Orange City) was also sentenced to 13 months’ imprisonment. He was ordered to pay $19,975.32 in restitution. Michael Giesinger (36, Deltona) was sentenced to 1 year of probation, 6 months of home confinement, and was ordered to pay $20,009.62 in restitution. Shane Riley (32, Deland) was sentenced to 3 years of probation and was ordered to pay $18,374.64 in restitution. On April 23, 2014, all five pleaded guilty for their respective roles in this case.
According to court documents, Angela Deleon worked at Advance Administration, Inc. (AAI), which was the third-party administrator of an employee benefit plan for the Ironworkers Local 808. As the third-party administrator for the Ironworkers Local 808 Annuity Fund, AAI was responsible for processing members’ payment applications, paying the Fund’s bills, and speaking with union members. Deleon’s duties at AAI included data entry and the processing of payments.
Over a period of about 14 months, Deleon wrote 46 checks from the Fund, totaling over $427,000, to individuals who were not members of the Local 808 or participants in the Fund, including McCall, Dove, Wesson, Giesinger, and Riley. McCall, Dove, Wesson, Giesinger, and Riley cashed some of those checks and split some of the proceeds with Deleon.
In total, ten individuals have been charged in connection with this case. Deleon was previously sentenced to 2 years in federal prison for her participation in these crimes. Deleon was also ordered to pay $594,000 in restitution to the Ironworkers Local 808 Annuity Fund and to serve one year of supervised release. The $594,000 in restitution consists of more than $427,000 that she stole from the Fund, plus the amounts spent by the Fund to audit and reconstruct the records that were impacted by Deleon’s scheme.
Three others are scheduled for sentencing hearings on August 20, 2014. Brandon Alfonso (28, Orange City) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy. Marta Blackmer (71, Orange City) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and ten counts of theft from an employee benefit plan. Phillip Simmons (50, Orange City) went to trial and was convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of theft from an employee benefit plan. Each of these individuals faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison for each count.
Lastly, Jason Ferrari (33, Orange City), is pending trial for one count of conspiracy and one count of theft from an employee benefit plan. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison for each count.
“These sentencings demonstrate the OIG’s commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who seek to illegally enrich themselves by defrauding union benefit plans,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Richard Walker, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
“Theft of employee benefit assets jeopardizes the benefits of workers. This case reaffirms the Labor Department’s commitment to protect workers’ benefits by identifying criminal activity wherever and whenever it occurs,” said Isabel Colon, Regional Director of Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Atlanta Regional Office and Miami District Office.
These cases were investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. They are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.