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Former government union director pleads guilty to embezzlement

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The former president of the National Association of Government Employees local at Fort Leonard Wood pleaded guilty Jan. 6 in federal court to embezzling from the union, according to a news release from Beth Phillips, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Garold Lawson, 67, of St. Robert, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to stealing at least $67,566 from Local R14-139 of the National Association of Government Employees, which represents publicly funded employees.

Lawson resigned as president in March 2010 in the course of a compliance audit by the U.S. Department of Labor.

From Dec. 6, 2004 to July 27, 2009, Lawson admitted he wrote a number of illicit checks on the union local's account, including:
  • 33 checks totaling $20,534 made payable to his grandson, with 32 deposited into a joint bank account and one deposited into an account owned by Lawson;
  • 13 checks totaling $20,991, made payable to himself for the purpose of lost wages, sick leave, retirement, and quarterly per diem and mileage expenses, none of which he was entitled to;
  • 54 checks totaling $24,526 for mileage and/or per diem reimbursements that had been paid by the national union; and
  • four checks totaling $1,515 used to reimburse himself for items he sought and received reimbursement for from the national union, some of which he never actually incurred an expense.
Federal statutes dictate Lawson is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution costs. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled following the presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office, according to the release.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas C. Bunch and was investigated by the Office of Labor-Management Standards, U.S. Department of Labor.[[In-content Ad]]

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