A member of Philadelphia Ironworkers Local 401 who testified against the union’s leader in a trial over a plot to sabotage nonunion worksites was sentenced to serve three years in federal prison. James Walsh was slapped with the sentence, which includes nearly $130,000 in restitution, after he testified in January that Ironworkers business manager, Joseph Dougherty, was aware of a socalled shadow gang that federal prosecutors say was responsible for myriad acts of vandalism and sabotage at nonunion worksites, including the torching of a Quaker meetinghouse.
In related matters, Greg Sullivan, a member of Philadelphia Ironworkers Local 401 who pled guilty in 2014 to a Hobbs Act extortion charge was sentenced by a federal judge to 27 months in prison for his role as part of the "shadow gang" in a plot to sabotage nonunion worksites. Sullivan was ordered to pay restitution of just over $10,000, half of which must be paid within 30 days, and three years of supervised release. Also, Edward Sweeny, a business agent of Philadelphia Ironworkers Local 401 who pled guilty in 2014 to the charges of racketeering and arson as a “shadow gang” member, was sentenced by a federal judge to eight years in prison, and ordered to pay restitution of $217,000.
Two New York City plumbing and pipefitting union members admitted guilt in Manhattan federal court to a scheme to sell union memberships in exchange for large cash payments, following a third member who pleaded guilty a week ago. Christopher Lupino, 52, and Kelwyn Benjamin, 41, pled guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. They each waived their right to appeal if they are sentenced to between 12 and 18 months in prison. Their sentencing hearings are scheduled for July 31.