Union Boss Charged With Embezzlement

     MANHATTAN (CN) - The president of the Stage and Picture Operators Local 829 was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $200,000 from the union, the U.S. Attorney's Office said today.
     John V. McNamee, 52, of New York City, was charged with embezzling from the union and falsifying the union's annual reports, according to the indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday.
     The embezzlement charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, and the false statements by one year.
     "From January 2004 through February 2011, while serving as the union's president/secretary-treasurer, McNamee charged more than $200,000 in personal expenses on the union's corporate credit cards," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing the unsealing of the indictment. "The charges included jewelry purchases, tutoring and school-related expenses for his children, and medical, vacation, and party expenses for himself and his family.
     "He then used funds from two union bank accounts to pay for the personal charges on the credit cards. Specifically, McNamee and another union official signed checks from the accounts, which are funded primarily by union members and their employers. McNamee's use of these funds to pay his personal expenses was never disclosed on the union's annual financial reports, which were signed solely by him, and filed with the DOL [Department of Labor,]" according to prosecutors' statement.