Former union bookkeeper pleads guilty to federal embezzlement charge

BENTON — A 53-year-old former union bookkeeper has pleaded guilty to embezzling from her former union employer, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced Friday.

Carolyn Hall, of McLeansboro, entered a guilty plea to a one-count indictment that charged embezzlement and theft from a labor union.

Hall faces a prison sentence of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years’ supervised release. Sentencing has been scheduled for December 1, 2015.

As part of the plea, Hall admitted that while she was the bookkeeper for Laborer’s Local 1197 she took $26,491 of cash receipts from members’ dues payments and used the funds for personal use.

The thefts occurred from approximately July of 2012 and continued through approximately February of 2014. Laborers’ Local 1197 is part of the Laborers’ International Union of North America and is headquartered in McLeansboro. Laborers’ Local 1197 provides jobs, training, and benefits to members in fourteen counties in Southern and Central Illinois.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards, with the assistance of Laborer’s Local 1197. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman R. Smith.