Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Former President Pleads Guilty to Embezzling from Union


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the former president of the union representing Jackson County Department of Corrections employees pleaded guilty in federal court today to a wire fraud scheme in which he embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the union local.

Jesse E. Morgan, 39, of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to one count of wire fraud.

Morgan was president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1707 from 2008 through Oct. 20, 2012.

By pleading guilty today, Morgan admitted that he engaged in a wire fraud scheme during most of his tenure as president, from November 2008 through Oct. 22, 2012, to steal from AFSCME Local 1707. Morgan issued checks from Local 1707 to third parties for his benefit or himself; made electronic transfers from Local 1707 bank accounts to pay personal expenses; made unauthorized ATM withdrawals from Local 1707 bank accounts; and made unauthorized counter withdrawals from Local 1707 checking and savings accounts.

The government believes the theft exceeded $120,000 but was less than $200,000. Morgan admitted in today’s plea agreement that the loss exceeds $70,000. The federal indictment alleged that the loss was more than $185,000.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Morgan must pay restitution to Local 1707 for the total amount of the loss. If there is no agreement as to the amount of loss, the court will decide the matter by a preponderance of the evidence.

Under federal statutes, Morgan is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Updated January 9, 2015