Carpenters union hit with new grand jury subpoenas POLITICO
By RYAN HUTCHINS
A federal grand jury in New Jersey has sent a series of subpoenas to entities tied to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, according to an internal memo sent last week.
The subpoenas, news of which comes after the September indictment of one of the union’s former retirement fund administrators, were directed to the union, its pension and several pharmacy benefits managers, all listed as various units of Level Care, according to the memo obtained by POLITICO.
The subpoenas also went to several groups with ties to the union: UBC Mission Venture, Placid Investors, Jobsite Steel Manufacturing and Calibre CPA Group.
“We do not know the reason for the subpoenas, but we intend to fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Douglas McCarron, the general president of the Carpenters, said in the Nov. 14 memo to union leadership. “We will keep you informed if and when new information becomes available.”
The new subpoenas suggest prosecutors are not finished looking into the Carpenters and may be widening their inquiry to other organizations with ties to the union.
McCarron, reached by phone on Tuesday, declined further comment. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey also declined to comment. Jobsite Steel and Calibre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The memo was sent less than two months after a federal grand jury indicted George Laufenberg, the former administrative manager of the New Jersey Carpenter’s Pension, Annuity, Health and Training/Apprenticeship funds.
The indictment accuses Laufenberg, who is also a former commissioner at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, of embezzling pension funds, deferred compensation payments and excess annuity fund contributions as well as engaging in a conspiracy to assist another person with stealing money through a “low-show” job.
The Carpenters are one of the most influential and deep-pocketed trade unions in the region.
The union is allied with George Norcross, the powerful Democratic Party boss of South Jersey. State Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) works for the Carpenters, and Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe works for Carpenter Contractor Trust, a labor-management trust that promotes the union’s members.
This year, two groups affiliated with the union contributed $1 million to General Majority PAC — a Norcross-linked super PAC that has been New Jersey’s most prolific spender on state elections.
The Carpenters have been in upheaval since Laufenberg was fired in 2016 when John Ballantyne, then the head of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, discovered what he called “potential violations” of federal securities law involving the benefits paid to Laufenberg.
Then, last year, Ballantyne was himself fired and the regional council dissolved in what he claims was an act of retaliation orchestrated by other high-ranking union leaders who were loyal to Laufenberg.
In his lawsuit against the union, Ballantyne made allegations against Laufenberg that are similar to those in the September indictment, and also said two other union officials — Frank Spencer, the second general vice president of the union, and Michael Capelli, the Eastern District vice president — had engaged in wrongdoing.
POLITICO first reported in April that federal authorities were investigating the allegations of “self-dealing and corruption” contained in Ballantyne’s complaint. The allegations ranged from payment to family members of a union official for no-show jobs, a “ghost” consulting contract worth $402,000 per year and the use of employees to build dining room furniture.
i predict that 2020 will see the united brotherhood
and some regional council leaders disgraced
in a manner that makes recent uaw charges look
like parking tickets; political payoffs, protection by
government agencies, and embezzlement of union
funds will no doubt be front and center. mccarron has
been protecting a favored group of leaders for years.
now that the code has been cracked, the onion will
finally start to be peeled back, revealing self-dealing,
fraud, multiple illegalities, and complicit leadership.
Re: Carpenters union hit with new grand jury subpoenas POLITICO
What ever happens to them,i hope they all burn in hell,steal and taking retirement pensions,steal and taking our medical benefits,merging unions,so mccarron could control and loot the money for his himself and his lapdogs gains,enough is enough,they all need to be sent down the amozon river,let them all float away to hell,they have made a mockery and caused enough of damage with the union,its a friggen dictatorship,get rid of these pos now.
Gotta love it, the U B.C.J.A. allegedly a 501(C)3 non- profit Corporation; crooked Doug & his two buddies Ron Tutor & Dianne Feinstein U.S. Senator are sitting on $1.3 + Billion dollars raped from the members. Long overdue for this corrupt prick & his minions to go down.
Great article Rich. Silver haired Republican (R) rep.Francis Rooney of Florida was just speaking on the House floor talking about how whe he was in Oklahoma de- certifying Unions; then on the other hand how he was a member of the Carpenters Union. If this clown is collecting a Carpenter Pension, it needs to be rescinded because he went rat. Run your mouth as a non union rat....time to forfeit your Union Carpenters Pension.