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Press Release

Utilities Workers Union Officials Charges With Conspiracy, Embezzlement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH – Two union officials have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of conspiracy and union embezzlement, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The three-count indictment named John Vetterly, Jr., 52, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and John Baranski, 53, of Boardman, Ohio, as defendants.

According to the indictment, Vetterly, a President of the Utilities Workers Union of America AFL-CIO Local 475 (Local 475), and Baranski, a Secretary-Treasurer of Local 475, conspired to embezzle and embezzled approximately $30,852.30 from the union by writing and cashing unauthorized union checks during the period from February 2006 to December 2008.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 15 years in prison, a fine of $750,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 14, 2015