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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 12, 2016

Labor Union Officer Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Embezzling Funds

Defendant Also Ordered to Pay Approximately $120,000 in Restitution

DALLAS — A former Secretary-Treasurer of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1338 in Dallas, Johnny L. Wilson, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $120,352 in restitution, following his guilty plea in April 2016 to one count of embezzling union funds, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

The majority of Local 1338’s approximately 2400 members are employed as bus operators, mechanics, and customer service representative with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), MV Pursuit of Excellence, and Transit Management of Denton County. 

Wilson, 46, of Dallas, was employed as a DART bus operator and had been a member of Local 1338 since 2001.  He was first appointed to be Local 1338’s Secretary-Treasurer in 2009, and he was subsequently elected to the same position in 2011.  Local 1338’s officers are paid to serve.  As Secretary-Treasurer, Wilson worked in the union office at least a half of each day Monday through Friday and received $750 per month for the “faithful performance” of duties.  His duties included writing and co-signing checks, paying bills, maintaining financial records, entering transactions into QuickBooks, reviewing and approving officers’ vouchers, bank statements, and receipts, and submitting the financial information to the CPA for quarterly audits.  He also had custody and control of Local 1338’s Union Plus MasterCard, as well as Office Depot, Sam’s and Home Depot credit cards to support and maintain the business and expenses of Local 1338. 

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) was notified after Local 1338’s President discovered that Wilson had forged his/her signature on checks, including checks written to Lowe’s and T-Mobile, where Local 1338 did not have accounts.

The investigation revealed that Wilson had used his position to fraudulently open charge accounts with Lowe’s and Chase Bank, and in doing so, obtained a Chase Bank credit card in his name on which he made $79,477 in unauthorized personal purchases.  Wilson also used his position to secure cashiers’ checks from the Chase Bank account that he then used to pay personal bills and convert to cash.  He also made unauthorized payments from the Chase Bank account to Lowe’s and T-Mobile.

DOL-OLMS investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wiley was in charge of the prosecution.

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Topic(s): 
Labor & Employment
Component(s): 
Updated August 12, 2016