Union president gets 15 months in prison for embezzlement

By Bill Heltzel

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A union president was sentenced to 15 months in prison on July 20 and ordered to pay back $150,000 for embezzling union funds.

William Davis, 56, used the debit card of a former union official who had died to run up personal charges on a union bank account from 2008 to 2012, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Davis was president of the local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, representing 300 maintenance workers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Montrose.

He used the debit card to buy electronics, music downloads, video games, cellphones, clothing, gasoline and cigarettes, according to Bharara. He bought at least $30,000 in money orders, some of which were used to pay rent at his home in Wappingers Falls. He made more than 900 cash withdrawals from ATM machines.

Davis reported only $7,000 in allowances and disbursements to himself on the union’s annual Department of Labor reports.

Davis pleaded guilty to the charges in April. In addition to the prison sentence and restitution, U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth M. Karas in White Plains sentenced him to two years of supervised release.

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About the author

Bill Heltzel
Bill Heltzel has covered criminal justice, courts, government and sports – as a beat reporter and investigative reporter – for daily newspapers in Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He worked for Bloomberg LP in training and sales. He joined The Business Journal in 2016.
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