News and Press Releases

New jersey labor union officer pleads guilty to embezzlement of union funds

November 17, 2011


NEWARK, N.J. – The former secretary treasurer of a New Jersey transportation workers’ union admitted today to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the union’s accounts for his personal use.

Kevin McKnight, 44, of Jersey City, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of embezzlement of union funds before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court.

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

At the time of the embezzlement, McKnight was the secretary treasurer of Local 1390 of the United Transportation Workers union. Local 1390, headquartered in Laurence Harbor, N.J., represented road and yard workers employed by Norfolk Southern and Conrail. In his official capacity, McKnight 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, McKnight occupied a position of trust in relation to Local 1390 and its members as a group. He held the position from January 2009 through June 2010.

From January 2009 through June 2010, McKnight wrote checks directly to himself, to cash and to third parties from Local 1390’s Wachovia operating account. During the same period, McKnight withdrew cash from the union’s account using a bank-issued debit card. McKnight admitted that the approximately $68,000 he stole was all for his personal use.

The charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. McKnight will also be responsible for making full restitution of the approximately $68,000 to the union. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Feb. 28, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards, under the direction of Acting District Director Andriana Vamvakas for the New York District Office.

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 counsel: Jean D. Barrett Esq., Montclair, N.J.

McKnight, Kevin Information

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