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Press Release

Maryland Businessman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding International Labor Union

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Maryland contractor pleaded guilty today to defrauding a large, international labor union, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia, Inspector General Scott S. Dahl of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General and Director Arthur F. Rosenfeld of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Howard W. Janoske, 74, of Oakland, Maryland, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and theft and embezzlement of labor union funds before U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of the Eastern District of Virginia.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 12, 2019.  

According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Janoske is the president and co-owner of a plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractor located in Maryland.  For nearly two decades, Janoske’s company has provided maintenance services to an international labor union located in Herndon, Virginia.  Between in or about May 2012 and at least in or about mid-2015, Janoske and his company provided the union’s facilities and real estate manager with tens of thousands of dollars in kickbacks in exchange for the awarding of the union’s service agreements and maintenance contracts.  The benefits included a high-end outdoor kitchen and free HVAC and plumbing services for the union manager and a relative over a multi-year period.  With the union manager’s knowledge, Janoske and his subordinates submitted inflated and fraudulent invoices to the union to recoup expenses for these personal benefits.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and the Office of Labor-Management Standards investigated the case.  Trial Attorney Edward P. Sullivan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section is prosecuting the case. 

Updated November 6, 2019

Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 19-180