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Harrisburg union official sentenced for wire fraud

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The former president of a Pennsyl­vania state employees union has been sentenced to house arrest and probation after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges.

Howard Royal, age 50, of Steelton, former head of United Government Security Officers of America Local 304 in Harrisburg, confessed to electronically transferring funds from a union money market account into the union’s checking account and then making unauthorized cash withdrawals.

Royal’s guilty plea followed an investigation by the state Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Investigators tracked the IP addresses of the computer making the wire transfers to Royal’s work computer and verified that he was at work at the time the transfers were made.

He will serve six months of house arrest, followed by six months on probation, in addition to paying back $66,989. The maximum penalty under federal law for wire fraud is 20 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Advice: Always require two people to authorize transfers between accounts. Have an outside auditor check all transfers at least annually.

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