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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Union Leader Charged With Embezzlement

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Brian Arnold, 48, of Elmira, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with embezzlement and false entries in required union records. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant, between September  2015 and  August  2018, was the financial secretary of Steelworkers Local Union 104M, which represents approximately 75 workers at Anchor Glass Container Corporation. As financial secretary, Arnold was responsible for collecting dues checks, recording all receipts, maintaining receipts and disbursement records, writing and signing checks, and preparing an accurate account of all money received and paid out to report monthly to the union membership.

Local 104M is funded through union dues collected through employer deduction.  Anchor Glass issues a check weekly to the union for the collected dues deducted. All checks are deposited into the union’s Chemung Canal Trust Company checking account, which is used to pay for all the expenses of the local through check or debit card. All of Local 104M's bank statements were sent to the union’s P.O. Box, and the defendant had sole access to the P.O. Box and the statements.

Between April 2016 and August 2018, Arnold embezzled union funds totaling $33,224.15 by: using Local I04M's debit card to make unauthorized purchases totaling $14,639.13 for his own personal benefit at various hotels, restaurants, and sporting goods stores as well as at Verizon Wireless; making 54 unauthorized ATM withdrawals totaling $16,940 from the union's checking account; and writing two unauthorized checks to himself from the union's checking account totaling approximately $1,445. The defendant also falsified records that Local 104M was required maintain.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and was released.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the US Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) Buffalo Office, under the direction of the Boston-Buffalo District Office, District Director Jonathan Russo. 

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated October 31, 2019