NEWARK, N.J. – The former Secretary-Treasurer of a New Jersey Postal Workers union was sentenced today to 20 months in prison for conspiring to embezzle funds from the union’s operating account, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
John McGovern, 55, of Hawthorne, N.J., previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle from a union before U.S. District Judge Faith S. Hochberg, who also imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
McGovern admitted that he and Gary Weightman, 58, of Keansburg, N.J. – the former President of Local 190 of the North Jersey Division of the American Postal Workers International Union – conspired to embezzle between $120,000 and $200,000 in union funds between April 2000 and October 2002 from the union’s payroll account and from a separate “operating” account. McGovern and Weightman were elected to their union positions in 1992 and received their salaries directly from the union. Under the Union’s Constitution and by-laws, they were allowed only $3,000 above their basic postal worker’s salary while they held union office. McGovern, who as Secretary-Treasurer controlled the financial transactions for Local 190, supplemented his income with sums of money far exceeding his annual $46,000 salary, issuing payments to himself of approximately $140,000 – as well as additional reimbursement checks over a two-and-a-half-year period.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hochberg sentenced McGovern to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $783,931 in restitution. Weightman previously pleaded guilty to tax evasion for failing to declare income he received as part of the scheme, and is currently scheduled for sentencing on June 10, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, under the direction of District Director Ralph E. Gerchak, for their work in the investigation of this case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys V. Grady O’Malley, Senior Litigation Counsel, and Leslie F. Schwartz, Senior Litigation Counsel, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark; and Jacob T. Elberg of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit.
Defense counsel: Linda Foster Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark