Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the arrest of ERIC GIVENS, a police officer with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“Amtrak”), and the former treasurer of the national union for Amtrak police officers, on charges of wire fraud, embezzlement of union funds, and making a false statement to a federal investigator. GIVENS was arrested this morning in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be presented this afternoon in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael H. Dolinger.
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
GIVENS has been employed as a police officer with Amtrak since May 1997, and was most recently assigned to Penn Station, in New York, New York. GIVENS served as the elected treasurer of the Amtrak Police Lodge 189 Labor Committee (the “Labor Committee”), the national union for Amtrak police officers, from 2003 through January 2010. During the same period, and continuing until November 2013, GIVENS also served as the elected treasurer of Amtrak Police Lodge 189 Inc. (the “Lodge”), a fraternal organization affiliated with the Labor Committee.
Starting by at least 2008, GIVENS improperly took at least $100,000 in total from the Labor Committee and Lodge by fraudulently charging personal expenses to the Labor Committee and Lodge and by withdrawing cash for his own purposes, and took steps to hide what he had done. During this period, GIVENS used the debit card of the Labor Committee to pay for, among other things, gasoline and food, and used the debit card of the Lodge to pay for, among other things, travel, hotels in multiple cities, and entertainment in New York and New Jersey. GIVENS also withdrew thousands of dollars in cash from Labor Committee and Lodge bank accounts.
GIVENS, 52, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, is charged with one count of wire fraud, one count of embezzlement of union funds, and one count of making a false statement to a federal investigator. He faces a total maximum sentence of thirty years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding work of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and its Office of Inspector General’s Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Amtrak Police Department’s Office of Internal Affairs for its assistance.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Richenthal is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.