Walla Walla Man Sentenced to Six Months in Federal Prison for Embezzling $40,000 from United Steelworkers Local Union
Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Jason A. Richard, age 42, of Walla Walla, Washington, was sentenced after having pleaded guilty on December 14, 2017, to embezzling labor union funds. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. sentenced Richard to a 6-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 2-year term of court supervision following release from Federal prison. The Court also ordered Richard to pay $30,649 in restitution. During the sentencing hearing, Judge Mendoza described Richard’s embezzlement as a “chronic and continuous abuse of trust.”
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, the United States Department Labor office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) initiated an investigation of Richard after receiving information from United Steelworkers Local Union 12-990 (USW LU 12-990) auditors that Richard embezzled labor union funds. Richard was the Secretary-Treasurer of USW LU 12-990, which is a labor organization located in Wallula, Washington. As Secretary-Treasurer, Richard had access to USW LU 12-990’s funds and was responsible for the union’s financial transactions. OLMS’s investigation revealed that Richard embezzled $40,049 from the union during a ten-month period. Richard used the funds to pay personal expenses. Richard paid $9,400 back to the union not long after his embezzlement was discovered.
Joseph H. Harrington said, “Prosecuting union embezzlement and other white collar crime continues to be a high priority for our office. I commend the investigators from the Department of Labor office of Labor-Management Standards for their excellent investigative work on this case. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to aggressively prosecute financial crimes in the Eastern District of Washington.”
This case was investigated by the Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards. This case was prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III and Dan Fruchter, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.