NEWARK, NJ – A former finance officer for a labor union Tuesday admitted stealing $117,000 from his union’s operating accounts, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Angel L. Garcia, 57, of Tampa, FL, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler with one count of embezzling from the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 1614, located in Sussex County, Carpenito said.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Garcia was a bus driver who held a part-time position at Local 1614. Garcia was elected by the membership, every three years, as the union’s financial secretary, and served in that position from June 2014 through May 2019. As such, Mr. Garcia was a fiduciary who occupied a position of trust and was obligated to act solely in the interests of the membership. As the financial secretary, he alone was responsible for maintaining the check book and other financial documents of the union. However, without executive board approval, Garcia withdrew approximately $117,000 from the union’s three bank accounts to pay for his rent, utilities, telephone and other personal goods and services.
The embezzlement charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17, Carpenito said.