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Latest News - March 2010

March 26, 2010
Santa Clara Man Accused of Embezzling Union Funds
Author: Mark Gomez
Source: San Jose Mercury News

A Santa Clara man is facing federal charges that he embezzled more than $47,000 in union funds while serving as secretary-treasurer for a group of workers at Owens Corning's facility in Santa Clara.

Curtis Iwatsubo, 35, is accused of using a union ATM debit card to make more than 80 unauthorized cash withdrawals from a checking account of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers Local 52 union, according to an indictment filed by the U.S. attorney's office on Wednesday in San Jose federal court. Iwatsubo also is accused of perjury.


Iwatsubo could not immediately be reached for comment. Court documents filed Wednesday indicated federal officials have issued a no-bail arrest warrant for Iwatsubo, who had not yet been arrested. On Friday, a Department of Justice spokesman would not confirm whether Iwatsubo was in custody.

As financial secretary-treasurer of GMP Local 52, Iwatsubo's responsibilities included depositing dues deducted from members' paychecks and preparing and signing checks from the union's checking account, according to the indictment. Iwatsubo was also responsible for recording receipts and disbursements in the union's check register so that the union's checking account balance would reflect all disbursements of union funds.


The indictment alleges that from January to November 2005, Iwatsubo used a union ATM debit card to make unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals in excess of $47,000. Federal prosecutors allege that the withdrawals were not related to union business nor authorized by Iwatsubo's fellow union officers or the union membership.

Iwatsubo also used the union ATM debit card to make an unauthorized $800 payment to an American Express credit card he had been issued by Owens Corning that was to be used only for company business, according to the indictment.


The indictment also alleges that Iwatsubo made false statements to U.S. Department of Labor investigators while they conducted an audit of GMP Local 52's finances. Iwatsubo also made false entries on the union's check register in an effort to conceal his embezzlement of union funds, according to prosecutors.


Iwatsubo resigned as financial secretary-treasurer of GMP Local 52 on Dec. 13, 2005, according to the indictment.

 


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