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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Former Labor Union Officer Sentenced for Embezzlement of Union Assets

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced TERRY SLAUGHTER, 46, of Fayetteville, North Carolina to six months imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.  On February 19, 2019, SLAUGHTER pled guilty to Embezzlement of Labor Union Assets.   On January 28, 2020, Keith Ludlum pled guilty to Conspiracy and Embezzlement of Labor Union Assets.  Ludlum is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

From 2011 to 2015,  SLAUGHTER served as Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (“UFCW”), Local 1208 (“Local 1208”).  Ludlum served as President.  Local 1208 encompasses North and South Carolina and has approximately 3600 active members. 

In 2014, the UFCW initiated an audit of the Local after receiving complaints from union members regarding the theft and misuse of union funds by Ludlum and SLAUGHTER.  The audit and a subsequent criminal investigation revealed that between January 2012 and March 2015, SLAUGHTER and Ludlum embezzled and misused more than $200,000 in union funds by issuing unauthorized checks to themselves and others, and by making unauthorized purchases with their union debit cards.  

Mr. Higdon stated:  “This defendant was entrusted to act in the best interests of thousands of Smithfield Foods plant employees who contributed a portion of their hard-earned wages as union dues.  Instead, he betrayed their trust by converting union funds to his own personal use.  We will continue to investigate these crimes and aggressively pursue the appropriate legal remedies on behalf of Eastern North Carolina workers.”

“Safeguarding financial integrity and combatting financial malfeasance in labor unions is a very high priority for OLMS. The financial malfeasance was discovered by the local union and report to OLMS. OLMS and the  U. S. Attorney’s Office were able to fully investigate and bring about justice. This sentencing sends a clear message that OLMS and the U. S. Attorney’s Office will fully investigate and seek justice when anyone attempts to use their union position for personal financial gain at the expense of union members.” Joel Belinc Del-Gregorio, Criminal Investigator,  OLMS.

SLAUGHTER was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $63,315.18.

The United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan represented the government.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Updated February 26, 2020