Washington DC Security Union Corruption
Over the last few years the leaders of the top known security unions in Washington DC have been indicted for using union funds as their personal piggy bank. Most of these Washington DC Security Union officicals have either plead guilty and/or been convicted by a jury as in the case of USPOA Founder & President Assane Faye and former NASPSO President Caleb Gray-Burriss.
United Security and Police Officers of America (USPOA) Founder & President Assane Faye Found Guilty of two counts of embezzling union funds and and seven counts of mail fraud.
TRENTON, N.J. – The founder of the United Security and Police Officers of America (USPOA) was convicted today by a federal jury of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in union funds for his personal use, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Assane Faye, 61, of Toms River, New Jersey, was convicted of all counts of an indictment charging him with two counts of embezzling union funds and seven counts of mail fraud arising from unemployment insurance fraud. Faye was convicted following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court. The jury deliberated for five hours before returning the guilty verdict.
According to the documents filed in this case and the evidence presented at trial:
As the founder, national president, and director of the USPOA, as well as a signatory on the USPOA checking account, Faye was obligated to hold and disperse funds of the USPOA solely for the benefit of the union and its members.
Yet in Feb. 2010, without approval of the USPOA Executive Board, Faye put a woman identified in the indictment as “Individual 1,” with whom he had a prior romantic relationship, on the USPOA payroll for $800 a week, purportedly to act as a USPOA organizer in New York. She received additional allowances of $1500 for monthly medical coverage, as well as disbursements for mileage, tolls, parking and vehicle tune-ups. Individual 1 had limited ability to communicate in English, lacked labor organizing experience, and did not own a personal vehicle. As such, Faye’s representations to the Executive Board of her organizing successes were fictional. In addition, Faye had access to both Individual 1’s personal data and bank accounts.
For three and one half years, the union dispersed over $244,000 to Individual 1 while she performed no services for the union. Individual 1 testified that, for at least six months of every year she was on the payroll, she resided in her home country of Senegal. During that time, Faye withdrew approximately $180,000 of her union salary and expense payments for his personal use.
In addition, Faye submitted to the USPOA inflated reimbursement vouchers purportedly for mileage and wear and tear on his personal car, even though he was using rental vehicles. Faye even submitted false vouchers when he traveled outside the United States to Paris, Dubai, China and Milan.
Lastly, despite controlling and collecting disbursements from the USPOA operating account, between April 5, 2010 and June 30, 2010, Faye also committed seven counts of mail fraud by misrepresenting his employment status and fraudulently collecting over $7,000 in unemployment payments from New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance Division.
Each count of embezzlement carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count of mail fraud arising from Faye’s unemployment insurance fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for Aug. 22, 2016.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (OIG), under the supervision of Acting Supervisory Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone, and the Office of Labor Management Standard (OLMS) under the supervision of District Director Andriana Vamvakas for the investigation and trial support leading to today’s verdict.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley and Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Andrea Bergman and Lisa Van Hoeck, Federal Public Defenders.
WASHINGTON – The founder and president of the National Association of Special Police and Security Officers (NASPSO) – which represents private security guards assigned to protect federal buildings in the metropolitan Washington area – was convicted yesterday in Washington federal court, following a jury trial, of 18 counts related to his theft of union treasury and pension funds, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Caleb Gray-Burriss, 62, of Washington, was convicted on six counts of mail fraud, seven counts of theft from a labor organization, one count each of obstruction of justice and criminal contempt, and three counts of union recordkeeping offenses. Joining in the announcement of the verdict were Marc I. Machiz, Director of the Philadelphia Regional Office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor; Michael S. Barcus, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Regional Office of the Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and District Director Mark Wheeler, of the Department of Labor’s Washington District Office of the Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On September 17, 2014, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, JC Stamps, former Executive Director and Founder of the National Union of Protective Services Associations (NUPSA) and the National Union of Law Enforcement Associations (NULEA), both located in Washington, D.C., was sentenced to nine months of confinement in a community correctional facility, three years of supervised probation, 100 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay restitution of $192,091. On June 23, 2014, Stamps pled guilty to theft from an employee benefit plan, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 664, for embezzling from the two unions and NUPSA’s health and welfare fund. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.
Former NUPSA Security Union Official Pleads Guilty To Embezzling
More Than $190,000 in Funds Defendant Spent Thousands on Hotel Stays, Clothing, Other Personal Expenses
WASHINGTON – JC Stamps, a former union official, pled guilty today to embezzling more than $190,000 from two labor organizations he founded and an employee benefits fund.
The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Bill Jones,Special Agent in Charge for the Washington Region of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General - Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
Stamps, 67, of Upper Marlboro, Md., pled guilty to one count of theft from an employee benefit plan. The Honorable Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts scheduled sentencing for Sept. 17, 2014. The charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Stamps faces a likely range of 18 to 24 months in prison and a fine of up to $40,000. He also has agreed to pay $194,611 in restitution and is subject to a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $84,745.
Stamps, a retired detective from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), founded two labor organizations based in Washington, D.C.: the National Union of Protective Services Associations, which represented private security guards, and the National Union of Law Enforcement Associations, which represented police officers. In addition, he founded a security guard firm, Stamps Associates, which also was based in Washington, D.C.
According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, between 2004 and 2008, Stamps devised a scheme to defraud and embezzle money in several ways from the unions and the National Union of Protective Services Health and Welfare Fund.
In 2007 and 2008, for example, Stamps used money from the health and welfare fund’s bank account to pay American Express for a total of $48,541 in credit card charges for personal purchases and union expenses. None of these charges were related to the administration and operation of the health and welfare fund. Instead they paid for personal expenses, such as hotel stays, furniture, men’s fragrances, clothing, other retail purchases, and online services, as well as for union expenses, including hotel rental (for a holiday party) and automobile rentals.
Also, according to the statement of offense, from 2006 to 2008, Stamps caused the withdrawal of $36,203 from the health and welfare fund bank account to pay an attorney for legal expenses incurred by the unions – and not for the fund’s intended purpose.
In addition to the theft and embezzlement from the health and welfare fund, Stamps stole and embezzled at least $109,866 from the unions from 2004 to 2008. According to the statement of offense, more than half of this money was used to cover debts of Stamps Associates, the security guard company. Other money was used for personal expenses and fraudulent salary payments to an individual identified only as “Person A” in the court documents. “Person A,” who is described in the statement of offense as a close personal friend of Stamps, was nominally the sole owner of Stamps Associates, although Stamps controlled the company.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, as well as the Labor Department’s Office of Labor Management Standards and Employee Benefits Security Administration. Assistance was provided by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler, who is handling forfeiture issues; Paralegal Specialist Donna Galindo; former Paralegal Specialists Shanna Hays, Lenisse Edloe, and Nicole Wattelet, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen Chubin Epstein of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney Kelly Pearson of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.
Rodney Horne (UGSOA)
Ava Ramey (UGSOA)
On October 1, 2014, in District Court of Maryland for Prince George’s County, Rodney Horne, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) Local 34 (located in Washington, D.C.), was charged with theft of $500 or more, in violation of Maryland Criminal Law Section 7-104, for stealing $4,525 from the union. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
On June 8, 2015, in Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Maryland, Rodney Horne, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) Local 34 (located in Washington, D.C.), pled guilty to one count of theft over $500, in violation of Section 7-104 of the Maryland Criminal Code. Horne was then sentenced to five years of imprisonment, all of which was suspended, and 36 months of unsupervised probation, and was also ordered to pay $6,045 in restitution. The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office and the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Metropolitan Campus Police Officers Union
On June 25, 2012, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Ava Ramey, former Trustee of United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) Local 21 (located in Bowie, Md.), pled guilty to one count of embezzlement from a labor organization, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c), for embezzling at least $379,000 from the union. Ramey wrote more than $80,000 in union checks to herself and cash, purchased more than $70,000 in merchandise on the union’s debit card, withdrew more than $60,000 from union accounts at ATM machines, withdrew in person or transferred to her personal account more than $100,000 of union funds, and wrote more than $60,000 in union checks to her family members. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
On February 26, 2013, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Kevin Jones, former President of the Metropolitan Campus Police Officers Union (located in Washington, D.C.), was sentenced to 20 weekends of incarceration, 120 days of electronic monitoring, and four years of probation. Jones was also ordered to pay restitution of $28,504.27. On November 6, 2012, Jones pled guilty to one count of embezzlement from a labor organization, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
On September 30, 2014, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Patricia Moore, former employee and Secretary-Treasurer of the National Union of Protective Services Associations (NUPSA), located in Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 150 days home confinement with electronic monitoring (some exceptions for movement), four years of supervised probation, and was ordered to pay restitution of $107,346 and a $100 assessment. On October 27, 2011, Moore pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud from NUPSA and the National Union of Law Enforcement Associations, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration.