UNION OFFICER SENTENCED FOR THEFT OF FUNDS & DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS
LORRAINE EDWARDS, 31, of Yelm, Washington was sentenced today to two years probation by U.S. District Court Judge Franklin D. Burgess in Tacoma, Washington. EDWARDS pleaded guilty in November 2004 to Embezzlement of Union Assets, Destruction of Financial Records, Failure to File Required Reports, and Failure to Maintain Required Records.
According to court documents, in 1998 and 1999, EDWARDS was the Treasurer of Fellow Associates Involved in Representation (FAIR), the union of employees at Lasco Bathware Inc. of Yelm, Washington. FAIR has approximately 175 dues paying members.
In her plea agreement, EDWARDS admitted she embezzled all of FAIR's money. In fact, she overdrew FAIR's account by more than $600. Edwards stole more than $4,000 of union funds by writing checks to cash and keeping the money, and by using the union checkbook to pay her own expenses. She even admits to taking $100 from the proceeds of a union garage sale.
As part of her guilty plea, EDWARDS will be banned for 13 years from being a union officer. Assistant United States Attorney Karyn Johnson noted that Edwards abused her position of trust with the union membership, and that, while the amount of money involved was not huge, it was a significant amount of money to this small union where the annual dues are only $15 per year.
The case was investigated by the Department of Labor. Assistant United States Attorney Karyn Johnson prosecuted the case. For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206)553-4110.