LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United Sta…

LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – 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 Judge James I. Cohn sentenced James Lynch, 56, a former dispatcher for the American Maritime Officers (“AMO”) Union and yacht captain and instructor for the AMO Employee Benefit Plans, of RICO Conspiracy.

James Lynch was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment, 2 years of supervised release, restitution of $103, 119.08 to the AMO Employee Benefit Plans, a special assessment of $100, and $103,119.08 in forfeiture 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 an employee benefit plan, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 664; mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341; and graft in connection with an employee benefit plan, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1954.

The evidence revealed that James Lynch solicited and received cash payments and free repairs to two dive boats owned by Michael McKay, the President of the AMO Union, from a vendor to the AMO Employee Benefit Plans. Lynch also submitted fraudulent expense reports that were paid by the AMO Employee Benefit Plans for personal expenses, including fishing and diving equipment, groceries, meals, and entertainment.

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.

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 http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/.

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