News and Press Releases

Teresa Marie Wilson Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on September 7, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, TERESA MARIE WILSON, a 57-year-old resident of Butte, appeared for sentencing. WILSON was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 36 months and 1 day

Special Assessment: $300

Restitution: $124,599.18

Supervised Release: 5 years

WILSON was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to embezzlement from Labor Union, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft..

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

Plumbers Local Union 41 (Local 41) is a plumbers and pipe fitters union in Butte. Local 41 has about 410 members with collective bargaining agreements with approximately 48 employers, primarily construction contractors. The union's primary source of funding is union dues. Local 41 is a member of the Southwestern Montana Central Labor Council (CLC) which is an organization of unions in southwest Montana created to unite the various unions to more effectively promote the mission and objectives of organized labor through collaboration and joint activities. Local 41 also utilizes a training program for people desiring to enter the plumbing profession. The Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) is a Taft-Hartley Act fund, created and funded by Local 41 and the contractors with which it had collective bargaining agreements, to provide formal and on-the-job training to those entering and learning the plumbing trade.

WILSON was a secretary for Local 41 from February 1997 to March 2010. In that position, she collected dues, prepared receipts, and kept the books and records of the union. From 2002 until 2010, WILSON was also the President of the CLC.

As union secretary, WILSON kept all the checks and cash receipts until it was time to make a deposit. When it was time to make a deposit, WILSON was responsible for stamping the appropriate endorsement stamp (either Local 41 or JATC) on the check, creating a list of all the items included in the deposit, coming up with the total deposit amount, and preparing the deposit slip. WILSON would give the deposit items, deposit slip, and her list of deposit items to the union's Business Manager who made the deposits.

In 2006, the former CLC treasurer retired, and her position was left vacant until March 2010. During that time, WILSON, as President of the CLC, oversaw the CLC account and handled all income and disbursements for the CLC.

Between January of 2004 and February of 2010, WILSON embezzled between $171,300.55 and $219,319.76 from the union, the CLC, and the JATC. Although the Department of Labor's Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) arrived at the higher figure, counsel for WILSON argues that the figure includes double-counting and suggests that the lower figure is correct. OLMS reviewed WILSON's personal bank records and was able to trace CLC checks totaling $177,337.03 directly to the her accounts. In addition, OLMS found that between June 2003 and April 2010, WILSON made cash deposits of approximately $237,000 into her bank accounts. In interviews, WILSON admitted to a gambling problem and asserted that the cash deposits were from that source and not from embezzlement of cash monies that would have come into the union as dues payments.

Investigation revealed that WILSON had taken checks intended for the accounts of Local 41 ($100,210) which had been diverted into the bank account of CLC, and checks intended for the JATC program ($87,909) were also diverted into the CLC account. WILSON then extracted the monies from the CLC account and took an additional amount of CLC monies ($31,201), by writing checks to herself or her husband, making unauthorized withdrawals, and getting cash back on deposits.

In an effort to conceal her activities, and to facilitate the thefts, WILSON forged the signatures of other CLC officers and the former treasurer of the CLC.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that WILSON will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, WILSON does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards..



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