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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

March 20, 2014

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former International Theatrical and Stage Employee Union Official for Allegedly Embezzling More Than $74,000 in Benefits & Union Funds

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal grand jury in Providence, R.I., on Wednesday returned a thirteen-count indictment charging John J. Brennan, 48, of Everett, Mass., a former Secretary Treasurer of Local 23 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in Rhode Island, with allegedly embezzling more than $74,000 in union and union employee benefit funds.

The indictment, which charges Brennan with three counts of embezzlement from a union fund, three counts of embezzlement from an employee benefit plan and seven counts of mail fraud was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Mark Neylon, District Director for the Office of Labor Management Standards, Boston-Buffalo District Office; Cheryl Garcia, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York Region for the Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and Susan Hensley, Regional Director of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, Boston Regional Office.

According to the indictment, it is alleged that, while serving as administrator of IATSE’s Local 23 Health & Welfare fund between January 2006 and December 2011, Brennan embezzled $33,546.82 in union funds and $40,510.38 in benefit funds. The indictment alleges that Brennan deposited most of the money into a secret bank account unbeknownst to Local 23 officials and that he allegedly deposited some of the embezzled funds into his own personal bank accounts.

An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. John Brennan has been summoned to appear on March 28, 2014, for arraignment in U.S. District Court in Providence on a date yet to be determined.

If convicted, Brennan faces statutory penalties of up to 20 years in federal prison to be followed by up to 3 years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 on each charge of mail fraud; and up to 5 years in federal prison to be followed by up to 3 years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 on each charge of embezzlement from a union fund and embezzlement from an employee benefit plan.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.

The matter was investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards and Employee Benefits Security Administration, and Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.

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To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/

 

Contact: 401-709-5357
USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

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