Former Bowie Union Trustee Pleads Guilty to Stealing Over $379,000 of Labor Union Funds

June 25, 2012

Greenbelt, Maryland - Ava L. Ramey, age 61, of Bowie, Maryland pleaded guilty today to embezzling at least $379,000 from a labor union.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and District Director March Wheeler, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to her guilty plea, from December 2005 to October 2009, Ramey served first as an assistant trustee and then a trustee for the United Government Security Officers of America Local 21 based in Bowie, Maryland. During that time, for her personal use, Ramey wrote more than $80,000 in checks from the union account either to herself or to “cash;” purchased more than $70,000 worth of merchandise with the union debit card; withdrew more than $60,000 from the union account at ATMs; withdrew in person or transferred to her personal account more than $100,000 of union funds; and wrote more than $60,000 in checks from the union account to her family members.

In all, Ramey embezzled a total of at least $379,000 from the union.

Ramey faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus scheduled her sentencing for October 12 , 2012, at 9:00 a.m.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standardsfor its work in the investigation and praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Sujit Raman, who is prosecuting the case.

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