Teachers’ Union Treasurer Indicted For Bank Fraud And Stealing Union Funds
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal grand jury handed down an eight-count felony indictment charging Kenneth Morris with bank fraud and theft of union assets, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards (DOL OLMS) Supervisory Investigator Kenric Michel.
According to the indictment filed August 22, 2019, and unsealed earlier today, Morris, 50, of Alameda, CA, was the treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2240 (AFT 2240). AFT 2240 represents teachers, counselors, and librarians employed by the Catholic Diocese of San Jose and the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco.
As AFT 2240’s treasurer, Morris received the union’s dues checks from the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Diocese of San Jose. The indictment alleges that instead of depositing the checks into AFT 2240’s bank account, Morris endorsed the checks and deposited them into his own personal bank account under false pretenses. The indictment describes five such deposits, each between $1,000 and $4,000, that Morris is alleged to have made between September 10, 2018, and December 10, 2018. Furthermore, the indictment charges Morris with stealing union property on three additional occasions between November 13, 2017 and January 12, 2018. According to the indictment, the combined value of the additional property stolen amounts to $18,720.75. In sum, Morris is charged with five counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344(2), and three counts of theft of union assets, in violation of 29 U.S.C. § 501(c).
Morris made his initial federal court appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was released on bond. Morris’s next appearance, a status conference before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, is scheduled for September 18, 2019.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the defendant faces maximum terms of imprisonment of 30 years for each bank fraud count and 5 years for each count of theft of union assets. However, any sentence following conviction would 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.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Vieira is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kimberly Richardson. This case is brought as a result of an investigation by the DOL OLMS.