Nine Charged For Thefts From Union Fund
March 6, 2014
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of a criminal complaint in which nine individuals were charged with theft from an employee benefit plan. If convicted, Brandon Alfonso (28), James McCall (32), Marta Blackmer (70), Phillip Simmons (50), Ian Chase Dove (26), Jason Ferrari (33), all of Orange City, along with Jason Wesson (37) and Michael Giesinger (36), both of Deltona, and Shane Riley (31, Deland) each faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison.
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. The individuals who received those checks from Deleon were her drug dealers or others whom she knew. Those individuals cashed the checks, took whatever money that Deleon owed them, and then provided her with a share of the proceeds.
Alfonso, McCall, Blackmer, Simmons, Dove, Wesson, Ferrari, Giesinger, and Riley were involved in the scheme by allegedly cashing checks written by Deleon, on the Fund’s account, and by splitting the proceeds with her. As of the date of this press release, seven of the nine defendants (McCall, Blackmer, Simmons, Dove, Wesson, Giesinger, and Riley) have been arrested and have had their initial appearance in federal court.
Deleon was previously convicted for her participation in these crimes. She was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $594,000 in restitution to the Ironworkers Local 808 Annuity Fund. The restitution amount includes the more than $427,000 that Deleon stole from the Fund, plus the amounts spent by the Fund to audit and reconstruct the records that were impacted by Deleon’s scheme.
A criminal complaint is merely a charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
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.