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Press Release

South Charleston Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Money from a Labor Union

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

She stole over 183,000 dollars between 2010 and 2014 from Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A South Charleston woman pled guilty yesterday to the felony offense of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Joan Matthews, 70, faces up to five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment when she is scheduled to be sentenced on September 11, 2018.  She will also owe restitution in an amount up to $183, 667.11.  U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the  investigative efforts of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards.

“Matthews used her position to steal from her employer for four years,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “My Office takes cases like this very seriously and we will prosecute embezzlers to the fullest extent of the law.” 

Matthews admitted that she was employed as a bookkeeper by the Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council (“CBCTC”).  Matthews told the Court that she began embezzling CBCTC union monies in 2010.   To accomplish the theft, she would prepare and cash unauthorized union checks, use union funds to pay credit card bills, and make personal charges to the CBCTC credit cards. Her embezzlement continued until September 2014 when her crimes were discovered by other union employees.  Matthews is no longer employed by the CBCTC.  The CBCTC is chartered by the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO and has jurisdiction over local construction unions, and unions in the building and trades industries throughout West Virginia. 

Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes is in charge of the prosecution. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. conducted the plea hearing.


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Updated June 12, 2018