Guilty! SEIU President Tyrone Freeman Convicted for Embezzlement

Tyrone Freeman, former SEIU Local 6434 president, has been convicted of embezzlement, tax evasion, mail fraud and more- 14 criminal counts in total. This could mean a jail sentence of up to 180 years for 43-year-old Freeman, who will be sentenced in April.

“This was a case about abuse and betrayal,” U.S. Atty. André Birotte Jr. said in a statement after the verdict. “Freeman abused his position as leader of the SEIU, and he betrayed the hardworking people whose interests he was supposed to represent.”

As we’ve stated in our previous SEIU Monitor coverage of the Tyrone Freeman trial, a 180 year sentence is not likely, but hopefully justice will be served for the SEIU members whose dues money he recklessly spent on extravagance for himself.

While many SEIU members were eking out salaries of $9 an hour, Tyrone Freeman was busy embezzling money on top of his $200,000 a year salary. He arranged for special privileges, paid for his wedding in Hawaii, and put personal charges on the SEIU credit card.

But for justice to be truly done, there needs to be a shake-up within the SEIU- Tyrone Freeman was appointed President, and it is highly unlikely that nobody within the SEIU leadership knew about what he was doing with the dues money of rank-and-file membership.

A shakeup of the SEIU leadership is unlikely, but putting Freeman in jail will certainly be a good start.

Tyrone Freeman, former SEIU Local 6434 president, has been convicted of embezzlement, tax evasion, mail fraud and more- 14 criminal counts in total. This could mean a jail sentence of up to 180 years for 43-year-old Freeman, who will be sentenced in April. “This was a case about abuse and betrayal,” U.S. Atty. André Birotte […]

SEIU’s Tyrone Freeman on Trial for Embezzlement, Theft, Fraud

Tyrone Freeman SEIU Local 6434 BossTyrone 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.

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 […]

SEIU’s Ridiculous Claim- Wendy’s CEO “Takes Home $16.5 Billion”

On November 29, the SEIU sent out an email to their members from a “Joshua Williams, Fast Food Worker” advocating for unionization of fast food companies, showcasing a worker engaging in class war:

Last year, the CEO of Wendy’s took home $16.5 billion dollars while I barely scraped by on $16,000. Like so many of my fellow fast food workers who work long hours at my store, I struggle to earn the money I need to pay for my rent, food, clothing, housing, student loans and childcare for my 7-month-old son Jayvon.

Today, my coworkers and I are fighting for our rights and to end that constant struggle. We’re striking for a livable wage of $15/hour and our right to form a union. But we need your help.

If you think it’s a little odd that a fast food CEO could be taking home $16.5 billion dollars in a year, you’re right- that amount would immediately make the CEO of Wendy’s the 19th richest person in the world, kicking off Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who is worth only a paltry $15.9 billion. Clearly, the SEIU’s claims are demonstrably false.

But in case you think this was a mere typo and the SEIU meant “millions” instead of “billions”, Warner Todd Huston points out that even $16.5 million is a stretch

In the Forbes list of American CEOs, the current Wendy’s chief, Emily J. Brolick, is listed with a salary of $338,462 annually and a total compensation package of $4.6 million. Not even a tiny bit close to the lie that the SEIU tried to pass off on its members and potential members…
Brolick has only been onboard for a short time, so maybe “Joshua Williams” meant the previous CEO? Well, let’s look.
Former Wendy’s CEO Roland Smith left the company in 2011. Before he did he “took home” slightly less than $16.5 billion. Instead, Mr. Smith “took home” a $11.4 million in severance pay. In 2010 he made a paltry $4.9 million.

So a minor exaggeration to round into $16.5 million, and a very large exaggeration to turn that million into a billion. And that’s the point- the SEIU is not shy to over-exaggerate their case to make their cause seem more legitimate. The SEIU certainly isn’t shy about paying people to protest for their causes- why wouldn’t they stretch the truth here?

Most importantly, the SEIU is stretching the truth to make their case for the minimum wage and unionization. They’re advocating for a mandate to increase wages as they have done before when asking for an increase in the federal minimum wage. As we’ve covered before, increasing the minimum wage would be a disaster specifically for those who they say they’re trying to help.

The SEIU needs to be honest with itself and its members and stop stretching the truth. It also needs to stop fighting for shortsighted raises which may kill jobs rather than helping people. While it is a noble effort to advocate for struggling families, mandated changes can kill jobs and increase unemployment, particularly in this economy.

All the increased wages and benefits in the world mean nothing if you can’t find a job to receive them with, and the SEIU’s stretched half-truths makes poor consolation.

On November 29, the SEIU sent out an email to their members from a “Joshua Williams, Fast Food Worker” advocating for unionization of fast food companies, showcasing a worker engaging in class war: Last year, the CEO of Wendy’s took home $16.5 billion dollars while I barely scraped by on $16,000. Like so many of […]

Occupy SEIU, Local 1000 Member Sues Union for Transparency

 In what would seem to be a quixotic quest, SEIU Local 1000 member Mariam Noujaim has spent $18,000 of her own money in an attempt to make the local union’s spending more accountable by personally inspecting their accounting books:

…Noujaim was invoking her right as a union member to see how the union “spends her dues and the dues of other members similarly situated,” specifically financial records and expense reports for 2009 and 2010.
She picked that time frame because that’s when the state imposed three unpaid days per month on state workers, equal to nearly a 14 percent pay cut.
“Let’s see how much of a cut (union leaders) took while we were on those furloughs,” Noujaim said.

To promote her cause, Noujaim created a new group, ironically named Occupy SEIU, which was aimed at bringing attention to SEIU’s bad accounting practices:

While the legal saga played out, Noujaim’s group, dubbed Occupy SEIU, crashed a Local 1000 rally at Cesar Chavez Plaza supporting the national Occupy Wall Street movement. Noujaim, some of her supporters and several paid pickets carried signs at the November event such as, “UNION DUES FOR UNION MEMBERS,” and “SEIU OFFICERS ARE THE 1%!”

This is a particularly forceful jab at the SEIU, which nationally supported the Occupy Wall Street movement and lent many of their member’s support and efforts to the movement. Publicly, the SEIU leadership have embraced the language of the “99%” in many of their publications, speeches and talking points.

However, when it comes to their own organization, they seem to act like the 1% by taking their member’s dues money and spending it on their own purposes without any transparency or oversight. In fact, many of those running the SEIU have salaries that rival those of the 1% they so deride.

See also- SEIU Pays for OccupyDC Offices, Tells Them Not to… Occupy

Fortunately for Noujaim, it seems her group has accomplished something of far more permanence than any other of the SEIU-supported Occupy-style movements:

In July, she wrote up a list of 17 documents for inspection: bank accounts, checks and electronic funds transactions, payments to SEIU’s state and national organizations, emails, redacted W-2 forms and more. Zamora said satisfying the request filled four file boxes.
Barring something unforeseen, Noujaim will see those records Tuesday. She can’t make any copies or take any pictures. She can take notes. The judge also allowed her to take along one person.

The union will have monitors on hand to watch it all.

Noujaim’s dedication deserves praise. She recognized that the SEIU’s leadership takes a “do as I say, not as I do” hypocritical approach with employers was hurting those who they claimed to be standing for- the workers.

Noujaim shows that a single SEIU member can make a difference. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, her notes from the accounting books would show, seeing as the SEIU will very likely be doing all that it can to prevent anything of interest from being read. But the fact that a member has gotten access to their accounting books means that the walls around the SEIU may be falling.

With more members like Noujaim standing for their rights to see what’s going on behind the SEIU’s walls, the SEIU might just have to start practicing what they preach.

 In what would seem to be a quixotic quest, SEIU Local 1000 member Mariam Noujaim has spent $18,000 of her own money in an attempt to make the local union’s spending more accountable by personally inspecting their accounting books: …Noujaim was invoking her right as a union member to see how the union “spends her dues […]

VIDEO: Ex-SEIU Organizer Was Illegally Required to Do Political Work

An explosive new video has come out, slamming the SEIU for illegally pressuring their organizers into volunteering for Democrat candidates. A former SEIU organizer admits on video that he and other SEIU organizers “were required as staff” to do political work:

We need to go canvassing for this candidate, so we need you to sign this sheet to say that you are requesting a personal day today, so that you can go do this. We’ll make it up to you later,’” he said in the interview.

And I [thought], ‘Is this really legal? Can you require me to volunteer for a candidate that I can’t even vote for? I don’t live in that jurisdiction, that district that they are running from.

And that happened a lot around election time. The staff was — it was — I called it ‘mandatory volunteerism.’ And that happened to everybody. We were all told that we had to volunteer for this candidate on this day.

According to the article, the FEC “does not allow volunteers for federal candidates, including Presidential candidate[s], to be paid by third parties for volunteering, and state laws vary on the point. But the unions get around these rules by compensating volunteers to do general political organizing work and get-out-the vote efforts for the benefit of specific candidates.”

This is not news to those of you who followed our video of SEIU members admitting to being paid $20 to protest Obamacare – the SEIU often uses underhanded tactics to coerce people into advocating for their causes in what they often accuse other groups of using- “astroturf,” or artificial grassroots organizing.

Important to note as well is that the former SEIU member in the video has his identity protected to prevent the SEIU from retaliating against him. Not only did the union pressure him into doing something he clearly felt uncomfortable with, but they also left him with the impression that there would be retribution if he were to divulge this information. This isn’t a movie or a dramatic TV show- this is real life, and this man is afraid of being attacked by real life thugs.

The SEIU is operating illegally, and using threats of coercion to prevent people from exposing them. This former SEIU organizer has found a way to expose them without revealing his identity- with any luck his testimony will help encourage more SEIU members to speak out as well.

An explosive new video has come out, slamming the SEIU for illegally pressuring their organizers into volunteering for Democrat candidates. A former SEIU organizer admits on video that he and other SEIU organizers “were required as staff” to do political work: We need to go canvassing for this candidate, so we need you to sign […]

SEIU Local 617 President: Tax Money to Fake Company “Depends on Democrats being in Office”

James O’Keefe, made famous for exposing the organizing group ACORN’s involvement in illegal activity, has published a new video, this time exposing the SEIU. A secret recording captured SEIU Local 617 president Rahaman Muhammad’s complicity in using federal money for wasteful and pointless organizations to literally dig holes and fill them back up.

If you listen carefully, Muhammad is explaining the SEIU’s relationship with Democrat politicians. In his own words, “union dues fund elected officials who support working people”- in this case “working people” whose only job is to dig holes and fill them up. Organizations like ones O’Keefe describes get the support of legislators, but it “depends on Democrats being in office.”

Specifically, Democrats like Senator Robert Menendez “get support from the union” for their support of SEIU-organized jobs. According to Muhammad, with SEIU’s support, “Menendez gonna be like ‘Oh, for real? SEIU? Oh good, great!’

Project Veritas, O’Keefe’s organization, sent out an email explaining the impact of this collusion:

Since 2005, labor unions have reported spending $4.4 billion dollars on political activity, with the vast majority of that money going to Democrats like Robert Menendez – despite the fact that half of SEIU members identify as Republicans or Independents!

Besides an obvious conflict of interest, the worst part about the financial arrangement between unions and elected officials is that much of the money going into campaign coffers comes from compulsory member dues.

In other words, union members are forced to pay for political candidates or activities they may not even support.

As we’ve stated before, according to Mary Kay Henry, President of the SEIU, about 30% of SEIU members vote Republican, and an additional 20% are independents. They should be very concerned about this kind of “pay-for-play” bargaining done on their behalf.

If the SEIU wants to be taken seriously as an organization, they need to do more than show concern for supporting Democrats who promote their initiatives. They need to be concerned about wasteful spending and government programs- after all, SEIU members pay those taxes as well.

James O’Keefe, made famous for exposing the organizing group ACORN’s involvement in illegal activity, has published a new video, this time exposing the SEIU. A secret recording captured SEIU Local 617 president Rahaman Muhammad’s complicity in using federal money for wasteful and pointless organizations to literally dig holes and fill them back up. If you […]

Cringeworthy: Pointless SEIU Video Parodies “Call Me Maybe” (VIDEO)

We apologize in advance for any involuntary shudders you may experience while watching this video, but in this case, it’s one of those things you need to see to believe.

The first portion of the video explains that at a Congressional Hearing in June 2012, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon had promised that he would set up a phone call with a local SEIU  janitor, Adriana Vasquez, to discuss wages for janitors.

What’s interesting is the part where the video begins- where the SEIU says that “despite multiple calls, she hasn’t heard back.” In response, the SEIU mounted an elaborate publicity campaign claiming Dimon hadn’t contacted her, using a riff off the (arguably overplayed) pop song “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen calling it “Call Me Jamie.”

The SEIU would go on to make a full online campaign culminating with this video showing janitors dancing with mops to prove a point- that JP Morgan Chase needed to fulfill their promise.

But according to CNBC, JPMorgan Chase actually did reach out to the SEIU:

JPMorgan Chase tells me Vasquez has never called. Ever. The bank says after Dimon’s testimony, JPMorgan representatives asked Vasquez for her number, but they claim she refused to provide it. They also say they followed up with the SEIU. “If she calls us, we will call her back,” says a bank representative.

Not only that, but JPMorgan isn’t responsible for paying their janitors- Chase Building, the building Vasquez works in, “merely has a Chase branch inside. The firm says it has nothing to do with managing the building or contracting out the cleaning crews.”

Ultimately, JPMorgan did finally get in touch with Vasquez. A JPMorgan representative met with Vasquez, and presumably slowly and patiently explained that JPMorgan did not, in fact, control their pay, and that the owners of the building should be the target of their campaign rather than the tenants of the building.

So it appears that the SEIU, rather than taking their phone call or listening to reason, would rather create websites and petitions and poorly choreographed dance routines embarrassing their members than actually working with the employer. It’s this kind of move by the union that creates antagonism rather than happy endings. When unions act like this, it’s not much of a surprise that union membership is declining and more are opting to work directly with employers than through a union.

It’s also worth noting that at the time this article is being published, there are just over 1,800 views of the video- even after it was posted on the CNBC website. There’s no word on how many petitions were signed, or visitors went to the website (which has since expired), but based on the poor viewership of the video, one has to imagine it was not a highly successful campaign. Also not known is the time and money that went into the production of the video, website or petitions.

What is clear is that the SEIU spent member’s time and dues money to create a pointless campaign that did nothing besides antagonize the employer, embarrass their members and waste time before anyone could realize that JPMorgan was not, in fact, responsible for paying the janitors.

At least they had the forethought to disable comments on the video.

We apologize in advance for any involuntary shudders you may experience while watching this video, but in this case, it’s one of those things you need to see to believe. The first portion of the video explains that at a Congressional Hearing in June 2012, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon had promised that he would […]

Shocking video- SEIU Members Admit Being Paid $20 to Protest for Obamacare

In the debate surrounding the Affordable Healthcare Act, widely known as Obamacare, much was made about the “Astroturf” Tea Party members who were opposed to the massive government healthcare takeover. However, as this shocking video demonstrates, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is directly paying individuals, and in a shady brown envelope no less.

“That’s why they gave us that $20 to spend… in that brown envelope”

What’s surprising about this is that the SEIU has previously called out conservative groups as “fake grassroots” in 2009, accusing their conservative counterparts of being dishonest:

Astroturfing by conservative opponents of reform is particularly dishonest because it masks the true motivations of the powerful interests–like the desire of industries to maintain the status quo.

Now that the SEIU has been caught red-handed, you can expect them to try to ignore this story despite the clear hypocrisy and dishonesty of their own actions. The SEIU is a powerful interest indeed, representing approximately 2.1 million members in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

What you may not know is that according to Mary Kay Henry, President of the SEIU, about 30% of SEIU members vote Republican, and an additional 20% are independents. And yet all of their dues money goes to pay for the SEIU’s considerable political operations, which go to predominantly left-wing causes that are entirely unrelated to the working needs of their members.

The SEIU is spending their members dues money on issues that have nothing to do with salaries or working conditions. On top of that, they’re paying people to protest, after accusing anti-Obamacare groups of being “Astroturf”. This is not only a poor use of dues money, but dishonest and hypocritical as well.

In the debate surrounding the Affordable Healthcare Act, widely known as Obamacare, much was made about the “Astroturf” Tea Party members who were opposed to the massive government healthcare takeover. However, as this shocking video demonstrates, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is directly paying individuals, and in a shady brown envelope no less. “That’s […]

Guest Post: SEIU Stealing from Cerebral Palsy Patients

This is the first of a pair of guest posts from our associates at NetRightDaily.com.

By Rebecca DiFede — In a disgusting display of greed a defunded quasi-government organization in Michigan known as the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3), with the help of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), found a way to dupe parents of sick children into giving them some of their much needed healthcare stipend. These tyrants reclassified thousands of parents receiving Medicare for the care of their adult children with cerebral palsy as care givers, thereby forcing them to join the SEIU and pay dues.

This means that for every family receiving aid for their loved one’s debilitating condition, $30 a month must be paid to the SEIU as dues for being a medical caregiver, reducing their government sanctioned benefits. How anyone could support this blatant disregard for humanity is unconscionable, and Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government had something to say about it: “this theft of funds from families with children suffering from cerebral palsy is deplorable. It just goes to show how greedy the SEIU and their allies on the “compassionate” left are when it comes to rounding up government funds.”

Misappropriation of funds is despicable enough, but to deliberately disadvantage families who have already been stricken with hardship, so much so that they need help from the government to pay for their loved ones medical condition, is sickening. The purple shirts at SEIU should hang their heads in shame, but instead they are likely just looking for their next mark.

This is the first of a pair of guest posts from our associates at NetRightDaily.com. By Rebecca DiFede — In a disgusting display of greed a defunded quasi-government organization in Michigan known as the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3), with the help of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), found a way to dupe […]

SEIU Employee Steals IDs of 29,500 Kaiser Permanente Employees

As anyone who has ever experienced it can tell you, there are few things in the modern world that can make you feel so powerless and compromised as having someone else steal your identity. The exposed feeling one gets when that someone else has been making purchases as you, racking up charges on your account, creating credit cards in your name, leaves people feeling violated and may take years to recover from-both in terms of credit ratings, and in emotional damage.

Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened to at least 300 Kaiser Permanente employees, and on a significant level. It appears that it wasn’t a vulnerability of the employer, but a member of the SEIU that committed the fraud:

Mia Garza was an employee of the SEIU United Healthcare Workers Union in 2007 when she took home a computer file containing the personal information of 29,500 Kaiser Permanente employees. Garza then went on a spending spree using the stolen identities of at least 300 victims. Items included a $1,000 pair of shoes, Gucci bags and a mail-order Yorkshire terrier.

Fortunately, justice prevailed, and Ms. Garza was apprehended. And in quite a compromising state as well:

Mia Garza was sentenced by the Honorable Gary Ransom to 12 years, 4 months in prison to run consecutive to a 2 year, 8 month prison sentence for charges in Contra Costa County. A hearing will be held in January to determine restitution, which is expected to exceed $1 million.

Garza’s most notable arrest occurred in Sacramento in 2009. When arrested, she was wearing a preoperative surgical gown and was about to undergo a $12,000 liposuction procedure that she had arranged while posing as a victim, and using a victim’s credit card information.

The idea of a union is to protect company employees from being abused and taken advantage of by the employer. In this story, there is a very clear reversal where the union employee is taking advantage of the union members. This is incredibly damaging for the SEIU, and should raise the eyebrows of union members everywhere. If a SEIU employee is able to merely walk out the door with a file with the personal information of over 29,500 employees, then all union members could also be at risk.

The SEIU needs to prioritize the safety of their employees data. In today’s world, it is increasingly important to protect sensitive personal information, and the SEIU cannot effectively make the case that it is protecting worker’s rights if it cannot even effectively protect their private information. We encourage the SEIU to inspect their methods for data management and ensure that a situation like this never occurs again.

As anyone who has ever experienced it can tell you, there are few things in the modern world that can make you feel so powerless and compromised as having someone else steal your identity. The exposed feeling one gets when that someone else has been making purchases as you, racking up charges on your account, […]