US Attorney – Former Union Bookkeeper Guilty of Embezzling Funds –

The former bookkeeper of the International Longshoremen’s &
Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU), Local 26, was found guilty today of federal
charges of embezzling union funds, with the evidence showing that she stole more than $100,000 from the union.

Rosa Della Porta, 44, of Highland Park, was found guilty following a 6½-day trial of one count of embezzlement of union funds. Following the reading of the jury’s verdict, United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez remanded Porta into custody, saying that the defendant would “say and do anything” to avoid the consequences of her actions.

Della Porta was indicted by a federal grand jury last August for embezzling funds from ILWU Local 26 starting in August 2003 and continuing into June 2006.

As the union’s longtime bookkeeper, Della Porta was responsible for receiving union dues and other cash payments, and making bank deposits. During the trial, the government presented evidence that Della Porta frequently deposited less cash than the union received, concealing the embezzlement by creating two different deposit slips for the same transaction. The deposit slips presented to the bank frequently showed far less cash than the deposit slips kept in the union’s records.

Judge Gutierrez is scheduled to sentence Della Porta on August 3, at which time she faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

ILWU Local 26 represents approximately 1,000 members who work for
some 28 industrial companies in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of
Labor-Management Standards, which enforces federal labor laws that impose
financial responsibilities on union officers and employees. The investigation was conducted with the full cooperation of union officers and staff of ILWU Local 26.

CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Dennis Mitchell
(213) 894-2484
Release No. 09-042

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