FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2012
Newark, N.J. – The president of Local 148 of the Production Workers Union today admitted he conspired with the secretary-treasurer/recording secretary of Local 148 to steal money from the union by taking unauthorized salary increases and bonuses, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
Stephen P. Arena, 58, of Nesconset, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to Count One of a 24-count Indictment, which charged Arena with conspiracy to embezzle money and funds from Local 148. A federal grand jury sitting in Newark indicted Arena on August 31, 2010.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Local 148 of the Production Workers Union of the Allied, Novelty, and Production Workers of America, located in Jersey City, N.J., represents workers from various trades, including bus drivers, hotel workers, and factory workers.
Arena, the union’s president, and David J. Caivano, the union’s secretary-treasurer/recording secretary, conspired to embezzle money belonging to Local 148 by giving themselves unauthorized salary increases and bonuses that furthered no legitimate union purpose and had not been authorized by the union or its members. Arena admitted he conspired with Caivano to embezzle money from the union. The plea agreement requires Arena to repay the union approximately $110,000 in restitution.
The count to which Arena pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 2, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Panella; investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards, New York District Office, under the direction of District Director Andriana Vamvakas, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Moscato and V. Grady O’Malley, Senior Litigation Counsel, of the U.S. Attorney Office’s Organized Crime/Gangs unit, in Newark.
The charges against Caivano are pending. The charges and allegations made in the Indictment against Caivano are merely accusations, and he is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Nicholas G. Kaizer Esq., New York