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Union boss embezzled union funds for gambling

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Ernest Milewski, the Wilkes-Barre union official who earlier this year pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds and the assets of a health care benefit program, used his sentencing hearing to come clean on the reason why he stole the money—to pay for an out-of-control gambling habit.

Milewski was sentenced last month to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling more than a quarter-million dollars from the Northeast District Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers and its health plan. Milewski was president of the union and a trustee of its health and welfare benefit fund.

Prosecutors alleged that the dual positions made it easier for Milewski to divert money to himself. His sentence calls for him to repay more than $257,000 in restitution.

Note: Even with high-ranking executives, employers should remember Presi­­dent Ronald Reagan’s famous aphorism, “Trust, but verify.” Employees who perform more than one job may be in an ideal position to steal. Institute checks and balances to prevent fiscal malfeasance.

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