Former CWA Local President Indicted for Embezzlement and Bank Fraud
BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted the former president of the Communications Workers of America, Local 3901, in Oxford, Ala., for a scheme to embezzle more than $69,000 from the local chapter, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, Investigator Hollis Lindley Jr.
A nine-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges MICHAEL LACKEY, 43, of Bremen, Ga., with bank fraud, embezzlement of labor union funds and failure to maintain labor union records.
Local 3901 members elected Lackey president in October 2008 and he remained in that position until October 2014. As president, Lackey held sole responsibility and control over the local’s finances, including its accounts at Wells Fargo and Regions banks.
According to the indictment, Lackey executed a scheme to defraud the banks between February 2010 and October 2014 by using his position as Local 3901 president to conduct unauthorized transactions to take money from the local’s bank accounts and use it for his personal benefit. Those transactions included writing checks to himself from Local 3901 accounts for unauthorized or nonexistent travel expenses, using debit cards he obtained on accounts for the local at both Regions and Wells Fargo for personal expenses, and making cash withdrawals from Local 3901 accounts at both banks for his personal use, the indictment charges.
Lackey embezzled about $69,194 from Local 3901 and attempted to conceal the theft by failing to maintain records of his unauthorized transactions and by failing to seek approval for expenditures, as required by federal law and the Local 3901 constitution and bylaws, according to the indictment.
The maximum penalty for bank fraud is 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for embezzlement is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and the maximum for failure to maintain labor union records is one year and a $10,000 fine.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier O. Carter Sr. is prosecuting.
An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.