• Ava Ramey, a former trustee of United Government Security Officers of America Local 21 in Bowie, Md., pled guilty to embezzling more than $370,000 from the union’s coffers. Ramey made purchases using the union’s debit card, wrote checks to her family members, and withdrew funds directly from the union’s bank account. Ramey will serve two years in prison and three years of probation, and must pay $379,000 in restitution.
  • A former president of the second-largest Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local in the country was convicted of mail fraud and embezzlement. Tyrone Ricky Freeman, president of SEIU Local 6434 in California, was found to have taken monthly payments of $2,500 above his pay from 2006-2008. He also used a union credit card to pay more than $8,000 in personal expenses, including some related to his 2006 wedding in Honolulu. Mr. Freeman’s wife pleaded guilty in June to willful failure to file a tax return and was ordered to pay more than $129,000 in back taxes tied to consultant payments she received from SEIU. Mr. Freeman faces up to 180 years in prison.
  • A former member of the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit extortion following a January 2011 law enforcement sweep that resulted in 16 indictments against 127 defendants. Edward Aulisi and his father, a former ILA Local 1235 president, conspired with a captain of the Genovese crime family to extort tribute payments from container royalty fund compensation that certain union longshoremen receive during the Christmas season. Mr. Aulisi will serve 30 months in prison and pay a $10,000 fine. The Genovese captain is already serving a 16-year sentence after his 2009 conviction on racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges.