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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Former Federal Employee Labor Union President Sentenced In White Plains Federal Court For Stealing Union Funds

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that WILLIAM DAVIS, the former president of the Federation of Government Employees (“AFGE”) Local 1119 (the “Union”), was sentenced today to 15 months in prison in connection with embezzling approximately $150,000 of the Union’s funds.  DAVIS pled guilty on April 6, 2016, and was sentenced today in White Plains federal court by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas.

According to the allegations in the Indictment:

The AFGE is a national labor union that represents approximately 670,000 workers employed by the federal government across all agencies and departments.  The Union is a local union chapter of AFGE that represents approximately 300 employees of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center-Montrose (the “Hospital”), and maintains offices on the Hospital’s campus in Montrose, New York.  At all times relevant to the Indictment, the Union maintained a checking account (the “Union Bank Account”) for Union funds, including members’ dues payments.

From at least January 2008 through in or about October 2012, DAVIS served as the elected president of the Union.  As the president, it was DAVIS’s duty to preside over the Union’s meetings and conduct the day-to-day affairs of the Union.  During that time period, DAVIS used a debit card for the Union Bank Account (the “Union Debit Card”) issued to a deceased former Union officer to make hundreds of charges and cash withdrawals for non-Union expenses and without the authorization of the Union.  For example, DAVIS used the Union Debit Card at stores and online retailers including Apple, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Radio Shack, purchasing items for his personal benefit including electronics, music downloads, video games, cellphones, men’s clothing, gasoline, and cigarettes.  DAVIS purchased money orders using the Union Debit Card that totaled at least $30,000 from the United States Post Office in Montrose, New York.  On several occasions, DAVIS paid for rent for his residence using the money orders he purchased with the Union Debit Card.  DAVIS also used the Union Debit Card to make over 900 cash withdrawals from ATM machines in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, in the process incurring thousands of dollars of ATM fees and fees for insufficient funds.  Between January 2008 and June 2012, the unauthorized purchases and cash withdrawals that DAVIS made with the Union Debit Card totaled in excess of $120,000.

In order to conceal his misuse and theft of Union funds, DAVIS also made false statements and omissions in annual Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards reports for the fiscal years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, reporting a total of only $7,000 in allowances and disbursements to himself as president.

In addition to the prison sentence, DAVIS, 56, of Wappingers Falls, New York, was sentenced to two years of supervised release.  The Court further ordered that Davis pay $150,000 in restitution.

Mr. Bharara thanked and praised the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General for their work in this investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Jessica K. Feinstein is in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Labor & Employment
Press Release Number: 
16-197
Updated July 20, 2016