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20 February 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Ji…

20 February 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Douglas Colon, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, announced today that defendants, Walter J. Browne, former President of the National Federation of Public and Private Employees (NFOPAPE), and Patricia A. Devaney, his sister and Administrative Assistant at NFOPAPE, a 7,000-member union that represents many Broward County public employees, were sentenced to terms of seventy (70) months’ imprisonment and twenty-seven (27) months’ imprisonment, respectively, by United States District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez, in Miami, Florida, in connection with the defendants’ violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

On June 2, 2004, Browne and Devaney were convicted by a federal jury in Miami, after a two-month trial, of conspiring to violate RICO, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d), and of committing substantive RICO Act violations, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(c). In addition to the two (2) RICO Act counts, Browne was convicted of violating the Taft-Hartley Act, Title 29, United States Code, Sections 186(b)(1) and (d)(2), which prohibits the receipt by union officials of money from employers; four (4) counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2; and failing to maintain expense records, in violation of Title 29, United States Code, Section 439(a), and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.

Devaney, in addition to the two RICO Act counts, was found guilty of embezzlement, in violation of Title 29, United States Code, Section 501(c) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2; bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344; three counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2; failing to maintain expense records, in violation of Title 29, United States Code, Section 439(a) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2; and failing to maintain payroll records, in violation of Title 29, United States Code, Section 439(c) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Browne received almost $600,000 from various employers while simultaneously representing the interests of the NFOPAPE and the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA), a maritime labor union. Additionally, Patricia A. Devaney, Browne’s sister embezzled more than $116,000 from the union. Moreover, the evidence showed that Browne and Devaney together falsified travel and entertainment expense reports, thereby causing the union to pay thousands of dollars in personal expenses on their behalf.

Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lawrence D. LaVecchio and Julia J. Stiller.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.