Michigan Man Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison For Conspiracy to Embezzle Labor Union Funds
Defendant Helped to Embezzle More Than $200,000
WASHINGTON – James Bradley, 44, of Grand Blanc, Michigan, was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for embezzling funds from a government employee union. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs, of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division, and Director Mark Wheeler, of the Washington District Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. In addition to the prison term, Bradley must pay $205,421.82 in restitution, serve 36 months of supervised release, and 200 hours of community service.
According to court documents, between approximately October 2016 through May 2018, defendant James Bradley helped to embezzle approximately $205,421.82 from the American Federation of Government Employees (“AFGE”). He did so by enabling co-conspirator Donnell Owens—who worked at AFGE as a Secretary to the Director of Communications during the relevant period—to submit false and fraudulent check requests and invoices for non-existent videography services that the defendant purportedly provided to AFGE as an alleged vendor, but that the defendant never actually provided. As a result of these submissions, AFGE funds were subsequently disbursed for work that was never performed, including $205,421.82 to the defendant which he then split with Owens.
Bradley pleaded guilty on November 7, 2022, before U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Embezzlement and Theft of Labor Union Assets. Another of Owens’s co-conspirators, Stacy Staples, 50, of District Heights, Maryland, also previously pleaded guilty to the same charge, and was ordered to pay $44,748 in restitution and sentenced to 3 years of probation. Owens also was previously convicted for spearheading the scheme and was ordered to pay $273,745 in restitution and sentenced to 15 months in prison.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Director Wheeler commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. They also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily A. Miller, Anne P. McNamara, and Brian P. Kelly who investigated and prosecuted the case.