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Justice News

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

Monday, September 21, 2015

Former Union Officials Sentenced For Embezzlement

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Betty Martin, 54, and Duane Rush, 44, both of Buffalo, NY, who were convicted of bank fraud, were each sentenced to 12 months in prison and three years supervised release by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. Martin was ordered to pay restitution totaling $59,683 to the Transportation Aides of Buffalo Union (TAB). Rush was ordered to pay $61,746 in restitution to TAB.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O’Donnell, who handled the case, stated that between 2006 and 2013, Martin served as the President, and Duane Martin served as the Vice President, of TAB, a public employees union comprised of school bus aides employed by the City of Buffalo.

While serving as union officers, Martin stole approximately $61,746 of union funds, and Rush stole approximately $59,683 in union funds from the union’s M&T bank account. The two accomplished these thefts through the use of an M&T Bank debit card, drawn on the union’s bank account, to pay for personal expenditures; by withdrawing cash from the account for personal use; and by writing checks from the union account to themselves.  TAB’s treasury was funded by dues paid by union members.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia of the New York Regional Office.

Updated September 22, 2015