News and Press Releases

Labor union officer admits embezzlement

November 14, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. – The former secretary treasurer of a New Jersey ironworkers’ union today admitted embezzling more than $560,000 from the union, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

James J. Kearney Jr., 44, of Bayonne, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to an Information charging him with one count of embezzlement.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Kearney was the secretary treasurer and employee of the International Association Of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers (Local 45 ) headquartered in Jersey City, N.J. The local has approximately 280 active members. As secretary treasurer, Kearney was responsible for maintaining all of the local’s financial books and records, which included the depositing of receipts and the disbursement of funds. Under federal law, Kearney occupied a position of trust in relation to Local 45 and its members as a group. He held the position from June 2007 through September 2010.

From January 2009 through September 2010, Kearney withdrew approximately $471,000 in cash directly from the local’s Bank of America general fund account. During the same period, he also failed to deposit approximately $90,365 in receipts from membership dues, other fees and monies received from the union’s annual dinner dance. The money he stole, a total of $561,365, was all for personal use.

The charge of embezzlement carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The sentencing before Judge Thompson is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards, New York District Office, under the direction of Acting District Director Andriana Vamvakas, with the investigation that led to the guilty plea.

The government is represented by V. Grady O’Malley, Senior Litigation Counsel of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.


Defense Attorney: Andrew J. Weinstein Esq., New York

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