Thursday, October 3, 2013

Latest on Criminal Sentencing of Tyrone Freeman in SEIU Corruption Scandal

Here’s the latest news on the sentencing of Tyrone Freeman, which has been rescheduled for 10:00am on Monday October 7 in a Los Angeles federal courthouse.

As the sentencing date draws closer, the feds and Freeman’s attorneys continue their duel over the length of Freeman’s jail term.

According to court documents, the U.S. Probation Office has recommended a jail term ranging from 33 to 41 months along with multiple years of probation, $125,000 in fines and restitution, and a ban to prohibit Freeman from serving in another labor union for many years.

Freeman’s lawyers, of course, are arguing for a much lighter sentence.

On September 9, Freeman’s team of high-paid DC attorneys delivered a lengthy set of documents to the judge pleading for leniency. Here’s an excerpt. (fyi, Tasty included a few notes in brackets).
We respectfully submit that a just and proper sentence in this case would include the following elements: (i) six months in prison followed by six months in a community corrections center; (ii) 1,000 hours of community service; (iii) restitution [$30,000]; (iv) mandatory participation in drug and alcohol counseling; (v) a multi-year ban on serving in a labor organization (a 13-year ban); and (vi) five years of supervised release [“probation”].

Freeman’s attorneys even specified the prison where they want their client to serve his jail time.
Mr. Freeman’s wife and children plan to relocate to southern California to
Lompoc Federal Prison
live with family. To allow them an opportunity to visit, Mr. Freeman respectfully requests that the Court recommend that he serve any prison sentence at the Taft Correctional Institute Satellite Camp or the Lompoc Federal Prison Camp.

Here’s how Freeman’s attorneys summarize their plea for leniency:

Mr. Freeman’s outstanding record of good works, his post-offense conduct, and his close family ties all argue for leniency. His separation from the labor movement, his age, and his limited criminal history effectively foreclose any chance of recidivism. The media attention that has attended every step of his slow and public downfall has already served to punish him severely while deterring others. Mr. Freeman’s failings have already cost him and his family dearly. Six months in prison followed by six months in a community confinement center would punish his conduct while giving him the opportunity for rehabilitation and to serve the greater good. Such a sentence would be sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to serve the purposes of sentencing.
Gimme a break.

Meanwhile, on September 17, federal prosecutors filed their own paperwork with the judge... but did so “under seal,” meaning all the documents are hidden from public view. (See the feds' filing record below.)

Could it be that the sealed documents contain news that Freeman has decided to spill the
SEIU's Mary Kay Henry
beans on his accomplices inside SEIU -- like Andy Stern, Eliseo Medina, Mary Kay Henry, Tom Woodruff, Dave Regan, Dave Kieffer, Steve Trossman?

Days ago, a former SEIU insider sent a five-page memo to the feds urging them to pursue top SEIU officials implicated in the wide-ranging corruption scandal.  

How much jail time are the feds seeking for Freeman? 

In an earlier filing, they argued for a 41-month jail term, five years of probation, payment of up to $172,000 in fines and restitution, and a 15-year ban from serving in a labor union. Here’s an excerpt from their filing:
The nature and circumstances of the offense of conviction, warrant a sentence at the high-end of the applicable guideline range of 33 to 41 months. Over an extended period of time 2006 through 2008, the defendant abused his position as the highest ranking officer of the Union to convert union funds for his personal use. Freeman accomplished the various embezzlement, mail fraud and bank fraud schemes by failing to disclose material facts to at least four separate decision-makers – the Union, CUHW, LTCHC and Countrywide. It is clear that defendant committed several offenses that betrayed the trust that was reposed in him by the Union and its membership. Moreover, the manner in which offense was committed was difficult to detect. Defendant crafted the Resolutions and Consulting Agreements that he later used to justify diverting the funds to himself. Freeman also directed his employees to issue the payments and authorized the check and credit forms that served to authorize the payment. Defendant repeated these acts monthly. The Union’s bookkeeper, Moises Avalos testified that prior to 2008, at a staff meeting, Freeman announced that, while he would not be getting a raise, the staff would receive raises. Avalos’s reaction to this statement was that while Freeman may not be getting “a raise,” Avalos knew that Freeman was receiving two additional checks a month – one from CUHW and the other from the LTCHC. (Id.). These are aggravating factors…

A 41-month sentence is needed to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense. (GEX 34 at TF103634). The Union represented largely low-income workers “who worked hard for their wages and would never have authorized their dues to be used for Tyrone Freeman’s personal use.” (GEX 34 at TF103635). As one board member states, “[t]his type of behavior from a president needs to be dealt with. It is a crime punishable by prison.”). (GEX 34 at TF103635; TF103638 (union member requesting a prison term). A high-end guideline sentence should deter defendant from engaging in future criminal conduct and should serve as a sufficient deterrent to others who may be tempted to embezzle union money.

Interestingly, the submission by Freeman’s attorneys makes no attempt to lay any blame on the multiple SEIU officials who facilitated -- and even covered up -- Freeman’s crime spree. 

So... is Freeman shielding the Purple Palace's top dogs from federal prosecutors because SEIU is footing the massive bills for Freeman’s DC legal team?

Or did Freeman perhaps spill the beans on his accomplices in secret?

Stay tuned for Monday’s sentencing hearing to see what clues emerge.