Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ex-Union Boss Faces Kickback Charges

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ex-Union Boss Faces Kickback Charges

Article excerpt

An Oakland man who was president of a Brooklyn metal polishers union was charged Tuesday with accepting more than $740,000 in kickbacks from the union's welfare fund, which authorities say he used as his "personal piggy bank."

Authorities arrested Hector Lopez, 54, as they unsealed a 15- count indictment that alleges crimes including conspiracy to embezzle from an employee benefit plan, mail and wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

"Hector Lopez was entrusted with ensuring sound management of the welfare fund for the benefit of union members," said Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "Instead, he turned the fund into a personal piggy bank, lining his pockets with the fruits of their labors."

Lopez, the former president of Local 8A-28A of the Metal Polishers Union in Brooklyn, was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. He also was chairman of the union local's welfare fund, prosecutors said. …

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