Press Releases

MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES CHARGES AGAINST STAGE AND PICTURE OPERATORS UNION PRESIDENT FOR EMBEZZLEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday February 16, 2012

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Andriana Vamvakas, the New York District Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (“DOL-OLMS”), announced today the arrest of JOHN V. McNAMEE, the President/Secretary-Treasurer of the Stage and Picture Operators, AFL-CIO Exhibition Employees, Local Union 829 (the “Union”), for embezzling funds from the Union and filing false annual reports on its behalf.  McNAMEE surrendered to federal authorities this morning, and is expected to be presented and arraigned in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein this afternoon. 

The following allegations are based on the Indictment unsealed yesterday in Manhattan federal court:

From January 2004 through February 2011, while serving as the Union’s President/Secretary-Treasurer, McNAMEE charged more than $200,000 in personal expenses on the Union’s corporate credit cards.  The charges included jewelry purchases, tutoring and school-related expenses for his children, and medical, vacation, and party expenses for himself and his family. 

He then used funds from two Union bank accounts to pay for the personal charges on the credit cards.  Specifically, McNAMEE and another Union official signed checks from the accounts, which are funded primarily by Union members and their employers.  McNAMEE’s use of these funds to pay his personal expenses was never disclosed on the Union’s annual financial reports, which were signed solely by him, and filed with the DOL.

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McNAMEE, 52, of New York, New York, is charged with one count of embezzlement of union funds, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of falsification of annual reports filed by a union, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. 

U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood has been assigned to this case.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards and thanked the United States Marshal’s Service for its assistance.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Carrie H. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

12-055

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