Former IBEW Local 503 president indicted

By Bill Heltzel

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A former president of Local 503 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Monroe, Rockland County, has been indicted on charges of embezzling more than $63,000.

A federal grand jury in White Plains indicted Brian W. Scott on Aug. 23 on charges of embezzlement, mail fraud and making false statements to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Scott, 46, of Miami Beach, led the union from 2008 to 2012, when he resigned.

The union hired an accounting firm to review its records after he resigned. The firm discovered that Scott had taken more than $60,000 for unauthorized personal expenses, according to a probable cause affidavit filed last year by Gregg Cautero, and investigator the U.S. Department of Labor.

Scott had control of Mastercard and American Express cards and was the primary signatory on the union’s checking account. He also obtained rubber stamps with the signatures of two union treasurers.

Scott allegedly used union funds to buy electronic devices such as computers and for dining, travel and entertainment, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. He also is accused of using the funds ostensibly for a clothing allowance and unused vacation time for which he was not entitled and for bail bond fees following an arrest on unrelated charges in 2012.

For instance, Scott asked a union treasurer to co-sign a check for unused vacation time, according to the affidavit, but the treasurer refused. Two checks for more than $14,000 were issued anyway and appeared to have been stamped with the treasurer’s name.

The same scheme was used again with another treasurer who told the investigator that he also had refused to co-sign a check for unauthorized vacation time.

In 2011, Scott filed the union’s annual report with the Department of Labor. He listed a salary of $151,731, the affidavit says, but left blank a section for other direct and indirect disbursements.

The union was compensated for its losses and for $5,000 in forensic accounting fees, under an insurance policy.

Scott was arrested on Feb. 9. In his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith on Feb. 24, he was released on his own recognizance and on a $100,000 personal surety bond.

The indictment was postponed several times while a government attorney and Scott’s public defender discussed a possible disposition without trial. The U.S. attorney announced the indictment on Sept. 8.

Neither Scott’s attorney nor union officials responded to messages requesting comment.

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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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