A former treasurer for the Powell's employee union has been formally indicted on federal embezzlement charges, more than a year after members of International Longshore Warehouse Union Local 5 noticed accounting irregularities.
In late March, Britta Duncan was charged [PDF] in US District Court with embezzlement and theft, falsification of records and failure to file required reports—ten counts in all. According to the indictment, in less than two years as the union's treasurer, Duncan snuck off with nearly $45,000—money the government will seek to recover through her prosecution.
As reported by the Mercury, members of the ILWU first voiced concern in September 2011, when a newly-hired treasurer noticed errors in the union's finances. An internal investigation turned up missing cash, and the union asked the US Department of Labor to investigate.
The indictment says Duncan took the money in a variety of ways. Much of it—roughly $23,400—she transferred from union accounts to her own checking account, prosecutors say. She also allegedly claimed sick leave and vacation hours she didn't earn, and cashed ILWU checks for her personal use, among other crimes.
The embezzlement charges are no joke: Each is punishable by 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Should Duncan be convicted, prosecutors will seek to recoup $44,536.97. If she doesn't have it? Authorities will forfeit "any other property," the indictment says.