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Press Release

Woman Sentenced for Embezzling Money from a Labor Union

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

She stole over 140,000 dollars between 2010 and 2014 from Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A South Charleston woman was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Joan Matthews, 70, pled guilty on June 12, 2018 to the felony offense of embezzlement and theft from a labor union.  The Court also ordered her to pay $141,325.78 in restitution to the Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC).  Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards.

“When you are 70 years old, a sentence of a year and a day is a lifetime,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Matthews used her position as a bookkeeper for the CBCTC to steal money over several years. She earned her sentence.” 

Matthews previously admitted that she was employed as a bookkeeper by the 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. presided over the hearing.


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Updated October 17, 2018