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Press Release

Former Local Labor Union President Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Used Union Funds to Pay for Vehicle Loan Payments, Department Store Purchases, and Other Personal Expenses

A former local labor union president who embezzled union funds pled guilty on January 25, 2024, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.  Brock A. Willson, also known as Brock A. Cligrow, age 42, from Linn County and Cedar County, Iowa, was convicted of one count of bank fraud.

In a plea agreement, Willson admitted that, from no later than about March 2020, and continuing through at least October 2021, he served in various capacities as a local labor union’s president, business manager/financial secretary, and coordinator of its joint apprenticeship training committee.  By virtue of his high‑level positions within the union, Willson had access to its bank accounts.  From the bank accounts, the labor organization entrusted Willson with making authorized payments for certain authorized expenses, including its training committee.  Willson abused his position of trust at the union to cause the local bank to make payments for his own person expenses, including but not limited to payments on his personal vehicle loan and purchases at department stores.  Willson admitted stealing at least $6,500 in union funds.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Willson remains free on bond previously set pending sentencing.  Willson faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a $1 million fine, and five years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Timothy L. Vavricek and was investigated by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards.  The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Police Department assisted the investigation. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 23-CR-67.

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Updated February 1, 2024

Topic
Financial Fraud