Jury finds St. Louis Mail Handlers Union local President guilty of embezzlement

Last week a jury in St. Louis found Anthony Davis, President of Mail Handlers Union Local 314, guilty of embezzling over $40,000 from the local. Davis pleaded not guilty, but was convicted by a jury aftre a trial that lasted five days. He will be sentenced in December.

From the grand jury indictment

dolFrom 2009 through June 2013, defendant Anthony Davis was the president of National Postal Mail Handlers Local 314 located in Hazelwood, Missouri. Mail Handlers 314 is a division of the Laborers’ International Union of North America AFL-CIO and is covered by the (LMRDA). Local 314 represents mail handlers employed by the United States Postal Service (USPS) in four locations: Saint Louis, Missouri Processing and Distribution Center, Saint Louis, Missouri Metro Annex, Saint Louis, Missouri Bulk Mail Center, and Columbia, Missouri Processing and Distribution Center. During his presidency, defendant was responsible for the operations of Local 314, and had signature authority over its checks.

Local 314 maintained a sole checking account at Citizens National Bank until January 2013, and thereafter at Royal Banks of Missouri. All receipts from Local 314 were deposited into the Citizens National Bank account and later into Royal Banks of Missouri account.

Pursuant to the local constitution, by-laws, and established practice, the president and treasurer of the Local had the authority to make disbursements for the Local. Union disbursements, including expense reimbursements, required the submission of a business expense form and receipt or invoice. The business expense form and receipt/invoice was submitted to the treasurer for review. Once approved by the treasurer, the treasurer wrote and signed a check for the disbursement. The treasurer submitted the business expense form, the signed check, and the receipt/invoice to the president for his signature. The president returned the signed check and documents to the treasurer who then issued the check. This process was the same for occasions when the president or treasurer sought reimbursement.

Beginning in 2009, Davis created approximately 56 fictitious invoices on his union office computer and submitted them to the Local 314’s treasurer as a justification for expense reimbursements. Using this method, Davis illegally took approximately $22,355.25 from Local 314. The defendant also received a total of approximately $13,413.02 of unauthorized disbursements in which the check memos falsely indicated they were for computer repairs, cleaning services, and pest control with no supporting documentation.

In May 2013, the treasurer of Local 314 was injured and unable to work. Davis visited the treasurer at her home and convinced the treasurer to sign fifteen blank checks for convenience purposes. Of the fifteen blank checks that were pre-signed by the treasurer, seven of the checks were issued to Davis without backup records or explanation. These seven checks totaled $4,890.80.

In or about August of 2012, Davis traveled to Portland, Oregon for a union related conference. Davis paid the Portland Hilton hotel $1,460 for hotel accommodations from the union checking account. However, a few days later, Davis deposited a separate check in the same amount, written to the Portland Hilton, into his personal bank account.

Neither the treasurer, executive board, nor the membership approved any of the above detailed conduct.