SEIU’s Tyrone Freeman on Trial for Embezzlement, Theft, FraudOn Jan 8, 2013 All Categories | Scandals
Tyrone Ricky Freeman, former president of Service Employees International Union Local 6434, is finally facing trial today on indictments dating back to July of 2012. From the previous SEIU Monitor write-up of the charges against Tyrone Freeman:
Freeman’s charges include $2,500 per month he collected on top of his paycheck from 2007-2008, $17,000 he took from a non-profit low-income-housing group, and $8,000 worth of charges he placed on a union credit card for his wedding in Hawaii. For these charges, Freeman could face up to 200 years in jail.
While a sentence of 200 years in prison is not likely, the trial will present a key opportunity to see how the SEIU allowed such corruption and fraud to occur right under their very noses. As we said before, these charges were made after an outside reporter investigated the union and published the charges in the newspaper, rather than being identified by the SEIU internally. This demonstrates a lack of resolve by the SEIU to stop or prevent fraud like this.
This brings up an important question in terms of the upcoming trial- to what degree does the corruption go? The Stern Burger blog, which has been following the case closely, offers this opinion about Tyrone Freeman’s upcoming trial:
What sort of defense strategy will Freeman’s attorneys mount? One clear option: to show the jury that SEIU’s top officials were fully aware of Freeman’s corruption for many years, didn’t lift a finger to stop him from stealing millions of dollars from workers… and even orchestrated a cover-up to hide Freeman’s corruption from SEIU’s members and the public.
As the trial progresses, more elements of the SEIU’s involvement and knowledge of Freeman’s activities will come out. While Tyrone Freeman may not be a free man for long, it is just as important, if not more important, that the SEIU is held accountable for their involvement in this as well.