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Press Release

President Of Local Chapter Of National Treasury Employees Union Convicted Of Wire Fraud And False Statements Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Defendant found guilty of taking money from union of which he was president and lying on annual financial reports about money he paid himself

A federal jury found Jonathon Ortino, former president of the National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 165 (Union), guilty of two counts of making false statements and three counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the Union and to hide the fraud by submitting false annual financial reports to the Department of Labor, announced U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) Special Agent in Charge Matthew Brackett, and U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards (DOL OLMS) District Director Bruce Edgington.  The jury acquitted Ortino of one count of making false statements.  The verdict was handed down after a five-day jury trial before the Hon. William Orrick, U.S. District Judge.

Between September 2013 and September 2017, Ortino, 47, of San Bruno, Calif., was the president of the Union, which represents Customs and Border Protection officers in California and Nevada.  The evidence submitted at trial demonstrated that, beginning in February 2014, Ortino improperly took more than $84,000 in Union money, using it on himself, his wife, his friends, and other associates.  The evidence also showed that Ortino falsely reported the amount of money paid to him in 2014 and 2016 on the Department of Labor’s Form LM-3 Labor Organization Annual Report (“Form LM-3”), which required Ortino to report, among other things, loans and disbursements made to Union officers, and money received by the Union.

On June 4, 2019, a federal grand jury returned a Superseding Indictment charging Ortino with three counts of making false statements to a government agency, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001(a)(2) and 2, and three counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343.  After the trial, the jury convicted Ortino on five counts—all three counts of wire fraud and two of the three false-statements counts. 

Ortino faces a statutory maximum term of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of making false statements and a statutory maximum term of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of wire fraud.  In addition, as part of Ortino’s sentence, the court may order a term of supervised release, restitution, and additional assessments; however, any sentence following conviction will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  The court has not yet published a date for sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Parker and Charles Bisesto are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rebecca Shelton.  This case resulted from an investigation by DHS OIG and the DOL OLMS. 

Updated April 6, 2022