News and Press Releases

Former Local Union President and Former Executive Assistant Charged with Stealing Money from Union and Obstruction of Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Richard L. Walker, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, announced the unsealing of a 17-count indictment and the arrests of defendants Darryl Brice Payne, a/k/a Darryl “Mike D,” Payne, 47, of Sunrise, and Tianni Latrice Brown, f/k/a Tianni Latrice Wade, 31, of Lauderhill, Florida.

Payne and Brown are both charged in Count 1 with conspiracy to steal money, funds, property, and other assets of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO, Local Union No. 1526 (“ILA Local 1526”) in Fort Lauderdale, from March 2008 through August 2009. During this time, Payne was President of ILA Local 1526 and Brown was Payne’s Executive Assistant. Payne is also charged with ten counts (Counts 2-11) of theft of labor union assets, in violation of Title 29, United States Code, Section 501(c); one count (Count 12) of endeavoring to influence, obstruct or impede the due administration of justice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1503; three counts of mail fraud (Counts 14-16), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; and making false statements (Count 17) in relation to a document required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) to be kept as part of an employee pension benefit plan, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1027. Brown is also charged with eight counts of theft of labor union assets (Counts 2-9), endeavoring to influence, obstruct or impede the due administration of justice (Count 12), and making false statements to Special Agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations (Count 13), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

According to the indictment, Payne and Brown prepared and used false and altered documents to deceive union officials and obtain union funds purportedly to pay for legitimate assets, goods, services and travel expenses for the use of the union. In fact, however, those expenses covered the personal expenses of the defendants and others.

The indictment also alleges that Payne and Brown corruptly endeavored to obstruct he grand jury investigation by causing the production of false documents in response to a federal grand jury subpoena, and by withholding and failing to produce other documents that were required to be produced in response to a federal grand jury subpoena. The indictment also alleges that Brown made false statements to Special Agents of the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, who were conducting the investigation.

Lastly, the indictment alleges that Payne engaged in a mail fraud scheme to deceive officials of the ILA Pension Fund by presenting a falsely altered U.S. Department of Labor document that made it appear as if he had received workers’ compensation for approximately four years (1991-1994). In fact, however, Payne had received workers’ compensation payments for only about four months in 1991. By using the falsely altered document, Payne was able to obtain one additional year credited to his time as a beneficiary of the ILA Pension Fund, which would enable him to obtain additional money to which he was not entitled upon his retirement. The indictment alleges that Payne’s use of the same altered document violated another statute prohibiting making false statements in relation to a document required by ERISA to be kept as part of the records of an employee pension benefit plan.

If convicted, the defendants face the following possible maximum statutory sentences: Counts 1-11, 13, and 17: up to five years in prison; Count 12: up to 10 years in prison; and Counts 14-16: up to 20 years in prison.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William T. Shockley.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Return to Top

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Stay Connected: Visit us on Twitter
What Makes Schools Safer? Using science to discover what works. Federal funding available. Visit NIJ.gov, keywords: 'comprehensive school safety intiative'
Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.