LawFuel – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Gordon S. Heddell, Inspector General, United States Department of Labor, announced today that United States District Court Judge James I. Cohn sentenced defendant, Michael McKay, 59, former National President of the American Maritime Officers (“AMO”) Union, and co-defendant, Robert McKay, 56, former National Secretary-Treasurer of the AMO Union, of RICO conspiracy and seven related counts.
Michael McKay was sentenced to78 months of imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, restitution of $271,040.12 to the AMO Union and AMO Employee Benefit Plans, a special assessment of $525.00, and $2,002,275.71 in forfeitures to the United States.
Robert McKay was sentenced to15 months of imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, restitution of $258,443.21 to the AMO Union and AMO Employee Benefit Plans, a special assessment of $450.00, and $509,744.71 in forfeitures to the United States.
The AMO Union represents the upper echelon of ship personnel, captains and their subordinates, and chief engineers and their subordinates. The underlying predicate crimes of the RICO conspiracy were theft and embezzlement from employee benefit plans, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 664; embezzlement from a labor organization, in violation of 29 U.S.C. § 501(c); mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341; and honest services fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1346.
Michael McKay was convicted of the related crimes of mail fraud (3 counts); falsification of required records and information pertaining to employee benefit plans, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1027; and failure to maintain records required by the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (“LMRDA”), in violation of 29 U.S.C. §§ 436 and 439 (a).
Robert McKay was convicted of the related crimes of mail fraud (2 counts); embezzlement from a labor organization; failure to maintain records required by the LMRDA; and false entry in records required by the LMRDA, in violation of 29 U.S.C. §§ 436 and 439 (c).
The evidence revealed that Michael and Robert McKay used union funds and employee benefit plans funds to reimburse those who contributed to political candidates favored by the McKays. Property for which the AMO Employee Benefit Plans were paying yearly leases to the AMO Union were used by the McKays without regard to the total lack of value such use was to the Employee Benefit Plans. In many other ways the Employee Benefit Plans were made to pay for costs that should have been borne by the Union. The McKays were paid with Union funds for expense vouchers that they submitted that did not justify such payments. Michael McKay utilized co-conspirators to rig Union elections through the stuffing of the ballot boxes.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Office of Inspector General, United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Department of Justice Organized Crime and Racketeering Section Trial Attorney Robert S. Tully and Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Lehner of the Organized Crime Section. The forfeiture portion of the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alison W. Lehr.