CONCORD — A Hooksett man pleaded guilty in federal court to embezzling over $23,000 in funds from a labor union that employed him as a business manager for more than a decade.
Dennis Robertson, 43, of Hooksett, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to embezzling labor union assets, U.S. Attorney Scott Murray announced Tuesday.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Robertson served as the business manager for a “local union” based in New Hampshire for approximately 14 years until his dismissal in or around March 2017.
While court documents repeatedly refer to the union only as a “local union,” multiple documents found online list a Dennis Robertson of Hooksett as business manager for the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Laborers Local Union 668, based out of Hooksett.
On his LinkedIn page, Robertson lists himself as the business manager for Laborers’ International Union of North America, Laborers Local Union 668 for over 25 years, since April 1994.
A request for comment was not returned by the Laborers’ International Union of North America.
According to court documents, Robertson served as the union’s business manager for approximately 14 years until his dismissal in or around March 2017. He was the only full-time paid officer or employee of the union, which included approximately 140 to 170 dues paying members.
Robertson’’s duties included managing the union’s finances, receiving dues, dispatching workers, and handling grievances, and he had access to the group’s bank accounts, officials said.
According to court paperwork, after Robertson was let go by the union in March 2017, an audit revealed substantial financial discrepancies during his tenure.
According to officials, the review revealed that between August 2015 and February 2017 Robertson wrote and signed unauthorized expense checks to himself and made unauthorized cash withdrawals from the union’s checking account totalling approximately $23,519.
According to court documents, Robertson also obtained union funds in two other ways by making unsupported mileage payments to himself of approximately $11,333, and failing to disclose cash dues payments he received from members in the amount of approximately $3,045.
In February 2019, investigators located Robertson and he agreed to be interviewed.
“He was candid, admitting that he misappropriated Local Union’s funds for his personal use,” officials reported in court documents.
Robertson is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 1, 2019.
“Union members place substantial trust in those who handle union finances,” said Murray. “When individuals betray that trust and take money for their personal use, they will be held accountable for their unlawful conduct.”
“Combatting financial fraud and investigating embezzlement of union funds helps safeguard financial integrity in labor unions,” said Department of Labor — Office of Labor Management Standards Northeastern Regional Director Andriana Vamvakas. “This is a major priority for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor — Management Standards. We will work with the United States Attorney’s Office to identify criminal violations and pursue appropriate legal action whenever anyone puts personal financial gain ahead of the best interests of union members.”