MANHATTAN (CN) – When the president of the newspaper mailers union stepped down amid accusations of embezzlement, the union’s next leader picked up where his predecessor left off, according to the men’s plea agreements.
“Twice in a row, the city’s mailroom employees were betrayed by the corrupt leadership of Wayne Mitchell and Larry DeAngelis, two executives who served the Mailer’s Union on separate occasions,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Instead of sorting the mail, they sorted union funds into their own pockets.”
DeAngelis pleaded guilty on April 23 to stealing thousands of dollars from the Communication Workers of America Union Local 14170, which he took over in 2008 from Mitchell.
Just two days earlier, Mitchell, 58, had pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Mitchell admitted receiving $425,000 in compensation and cashing more than $200,000 in checks from the union, which he had led since 2004.
The mailers union represents the staffs of New York-based newspapers, including The New York Times, the New York Post and the Daily News.
Prosecutors say a forensic accountant who looked into the union’s books after Mitchell resigned found that the union was behind in its federal taxes by more than $200,000 and owed several hundred thousand more to its pension fund and other accounts. Mitchell had also bounced more than $180,000 in checks to the union’s creditors.
DeAngelis, 52, admitted in his plea to cashing thousands of dollars in checks that he wrote to himself without authorization, and cashing reimbursement checks for fictitious expenses.
Both former union leaders face up to 5 years in prison. Mitchell’s sentencing is set for September and DeAngelis’ for July.
The Daily News reported that prosecutors are calling for Mitchell to serve 24 to 30 months in prison and for DeAngelis, who has reportedly returned the money he stole, to serve between 10 and 16 months.