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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 22, 2016

Labor Union Officers Charged with Embezzlement and Theft of Union Funds

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced a federal indictment charging SCOT MCNAMARA, 56, for embezzlement and theft of labor union assets.[1] MCNAMARA is expected to appear before Magistrate Judge Steven E. Rau in United States District Court in St. Paul, Minn.

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, MCNAMARA is a member of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Local 34 (“Local 34”), a labor union representing 458 Minnesota members. Beginning in December 2007, MCNAMARA served as financial secretary of the union, until December 2012 when he lost his bid for re-election.

According to the indictment, as financial secretary, MCNAMARA had a Visa rewards credit card for use on behalf of Local 34. Use of the card resulted in earned credit card reward points, which Local 34 owned. However, before leaving office as financial secretary, MCNAMARA cashed in the reward points in exchange for other items, including $1,900 in gas cards, which were sent to MCNAMARA’s home.

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, MCNAMARA also used the Visa rewards card to pay personal expenses, including more than $2,800 in airline tickets for a family vacation to the Grand Cayman Islands.

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, from October 30, 2011, through November 2, 2011, MCNAMARA attended a training in New Orleans, La., regarding his role as trustee for Local 34’s health and welfare and pension funds. Local 34 paid a total of $3,054.84 for costs associated with MCNAMARA’s attendance at the training yet MCNAMARA personally requested and received a $3,087.84 reimbursement. Nearly all of the expenses MCNAMARA claimed in his reimbursement request had already been paid by Local 34. Instead of turning over the reimbursement funds to Local 34, MCNAMARA used the money to cover personal expenses, including payments associated with a December 2012 trip for his family to the Grand Cayman Islands.

A related felony information has also been filed charging KEITH CHRISTOPHERSON, 53, for embezzlement and theft of labor union assets.[2]

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lola Velazquez-Aguilu is prosecuting the case.


Defendant Information:                                                                                                                     

SCOT MCNAMARA, 56
Cottage Grove, Minn.

Charges:
• Embezzlement and theft of labor union assets, 4 counts

KEITH CHRISTOPHERSON, 53
Coon Rapids, Minn.

Charges:
• Embezzlement and theft of labor union assets, 1 count

 

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[2] The charges contained in the information are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated July 22, 2016