Guilty plea entered in union health care fund embezzlement scheme

A member of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) has pleaded guilty to embezzlement from the union’s health care fund. He is the 28th member of the IKORCC charged in federal court for submitting false claims to the union’s health care fund. The charges and guilty plea follow an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. To date, the court has ordered $491,890 in restitution to the IKORCC Welfare Fund, the Labor Department said.

Embezzlement scheme. In a written plea agreement, the defendant admitted that between 2012 and 2014 he submitted false reimbursement requests for medical expenses. He also admitted to assisting other members in submitting false health claims for reimbursement from the fund and to charging a fee of between $100-to-$500 for assisting them with each claim. Under the plea agreement, the defendant agreed to reimburse the fund $47,397 for fraudulent reimbursements he received. He is scheduled for sentencing on November 19, 2018.

Continuing investigation. The federal investigation of the union continues. The State of Indiana recently charged 24 other IKORCC members with theft and forgery after investigators found they received reimbursements for false health care claims totaling about $419,854 from the union’s welfare fund. Two other cases are pending against union members in the Cincinnati Regional Office jurisdiction of EBSA for fraud totaling $57,980 in the same scheme. Two additional union members from Indiana made reimbursement of $51,045 without any charges having been filed.

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