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The original item was published from 3/8/2016 5:01:02 PM to 3/8/2016 5:01:41 PM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: March 8, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Former Treasurer Arrested for Embezzling Union Funds

Burke, Charles

Charles Burke allegedly stole in excess of $111,000 during five year period

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a former treasurer of Utility Workers Local 365 surrendered this morning to DA investigators and is charged with stealing more than $111,000 from the Nassau County-based union.

Charles Burke, 47, of Oceanside, was arraigned today before District Court Judge Joseph Girardi on charges of Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony) and Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree (an E felony). The defendant was conditionally released to probation and is expected back in court on April 6. The defendant faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count.

“The defendant allegedly enriched himself with union funds for five years and stole more than $111,000 in the process,” DA Singas said. “I thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Labor for helping us investigate and prosecute this case.”

“The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards thanks Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas and her staff for their hard work on this case. Union officers have a duty to manage the funds and property of the union solely for the benefit of the union and its members, not for themselves. We will pursue appropriate legal action and work cooperatively with other agencies to ensure that union officers or employees who embezzle or steal union funds face the consequences,” said OLMS District Director Andriana Vamvakas.

DA Singas said that in October 2014, Local 365 was notified by the UWUA International Treasurer that more than two years of payments due from the local union to the international union had not been received. Upon investigation of this issue, Local 365 learned that its treasurer, Charles Burke, during a period of more than 5 years, had allegedly stolen in excess of $111,000. In addition to failing to pay dues, Burke allegedly wrote checks to himself and made withdrawals from Local 365’s bank accounts without the union’s knowledge, permission or authority.

UWUA Local 365 is based in Nassau County and members of the union work for American Water and cover the Nassau County line to Roosevelt.

The case arises from a referral by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Office of Labor-Management Standards in April, 2015. The USDOL division oversees financial integrity in private sector labor unions through standards for union officer elections and union trusteeships and safeguards for union assets.

The case was investigated jointly by the USDOL and NCDA.

Assistant District Attorney Diane Peress, Bureau Chief of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case. Burke is represented by Ronald Beckoff, Esq.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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