LawFuel – Legal Announcements – The former office manager of a union representing some 300 stage production members working at Disneyland and the Orange County Performing Arts Center has been charged with embezzling union funds.
Teresa Cora Luna, 34, of Anaheim, was charged late Friday with embezzling money from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 504 over an 8-month period. In a plea agreement also filed Friday, Luna agreed to plead guilty to the charge, admitting that she stole approximately $67,416 from the union.
According to the plea agreement, Luna printed out checks drawn on the local union’s checking account and made those checks payable to herself. Luna forged the signatures of local union officers who were authorized to sign checks, and she negotiated the checks at a check cashing business in Anaheim. Luna admitted that from November 2004 through June 2005, she forged the signatures of two local union officers on approximately 39 checks. Luna was terminated from her employment when the theft was discovered in 2005.
Luna will be summoned to appear for an arraignment in United States District Court in Los Angeles next month. The embezzlement charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. As part of the plea agreement, Luna has agreed to make full restitution to the union.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations. The agencies received the cooperation of current union officers and staff.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Dennis Mitchell
Release No. 08-130