Union official admits embezzling $1M from longshoremen

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The former financial secretary for the International Longshoremen's Association has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from the union over a 10-year period.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release that 48-year-old Robert Smith III of Virginia Beach entered the plea Friday in federal court in Norfolk.

Prosecutors say from March 2006 through April 2016, Smith embezzled money from Local 970. Authorities say Smith deposited initiation fees and member dues received from employers into an ILA bank account, and then withdrew the money, most of it in cash. Prosecutors say Smith used the money for credit card bills, gas, food, clothing, shoes, toys, entertainment, and home improvement.

Smith faces a maximum of 20 years in prison at sentencing on Feb. 7.

© 2017 Associated Press


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