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Press Release

Former Fund Coordinator Pleads Guilty To Theft From Union Fund

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that John Francis Songer (45, DeBary) has pleaded guilty to theft from an employee benefit plan.  He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Songer was indicted on February 25, 2015.

According to court documents, Songer was the Apprenticeship Administrator and Coordinator of the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee and Trust Fund for the Sheet Metal Workers’ Local Union No. 15. Over an almost six-year period, Songer used a credit card belonging to the Fund to make more than $50,000 in unauthorized charges. The credit card bill was paid by checks written on the Fund’s bank account. Songer’s unauthorized charges included personal expenditures for adult entertainment, restaurants, and gambling. He also incurred charges for travel-related items that the Fund was not obligated to pay. As part of his plea agreement, Songer has agreed to pay more than $50,000 in restitution to the Fund.

"This criminal action demonstrates the Employee Benefits Security Administration's resolve to vigorously enforce the law to ensure that those who steal from employee benefit plans are brought to justice," said Isabel Colon, Regional Director of EBSA's Atlanta Regional Office.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, with assistance from the United States Marshals Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.

Updated June 22, 2015