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Press Release

Former Labor Union President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement of Union Assets

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, KEITH ALAN LUDLUM, 48, of Bladenboro, North Carolina pled guilty to Conspiracy and Embezzlement of Labor Union Assets.  At sentencing before Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, LUDLUM faces a combined maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, a fine of $10,000, and restitution.  On February 26, 2019, TERRY SLAUGHTER pled guilty to Embezzlement of Labor Union Assets.  At sentencing, SLAUGHTER faces a maximum sentence 5 years imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, a $10,000 fine, and restitution.

LUDLUM was charged in an Indictment filed on April 17, 2019.  According to the Indictment and information presented at the hearing, in 2011, LUDLUM was elected President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (“UFCW”), Local Union 1208.  SLAUGHTER was elected Secretary/Treasurer.  Local Union 1208 encompasses North and South Carolina and has approximately 3600 active members.  As President, LUDLUM was the primary fiduciary officer.  LUDLUM and SLAUGHTER had financial oversight of the Local’s expenditures.

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, LUDLUM and SLAUGHTER embezzled and misused more than $200,000 in union funds by issuing unauthorized checks and making unauthorized purchases with their assigned debit cards.  

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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Updated January 28, 2020