On June 8, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Jeffrey Velfling and John Crosby, former Chief Steward and Assistant Steward, respectively, of National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 307 (located in Detroit, Mich.), each pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $6,758, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty pleas follow a joint investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.
As union stewards, the defendants represented the employees of the Traverse City facility who were members of Local #307 of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union. In their capacity as union stewards, the defendants were under an obligation to provide equal and fair representation to all of their union members. In their capacity as union stewards, the defendants received approximately $14,000 from the United States Postal Service as settlement of grievances filed on behalf of the union and select union members. The defendants each obtained settlement payments totaling approximately $6,758.48, which they kept for their own use and benefit. The settlement payments should have been distributed to the union members named in the union grievances