Union financial recording secretary sentenced for false entry in a union record

Published 10:53 am Tuesday, June 27, 2023

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On June 22, 2023, Wilbert Barnes, a resident of Angie, Louisiana, was sentenced to 2 years of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $25 mandatory special assessment fee for embezzlement, as announced by United States Attorney Duane A. Evans.

In accordance with the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act, United States District Judge Barry Ashe further imposed restitution of $12,500, which Barnes has already paid. Barnes previously pled guilty to making a false entry in a union record, having misappropriated $12,500 of funds from United Steelworkers Local 1362.

According to court records, Barnes held the position of Recording Secretary of United Steelworkers Local 1362. Barnes confessed to the local sheriff’s office that he took $12,500 of Local 1362’s funds via two unauthorized checks in June 2021.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that Barnes had misappropriated at least $25,000 of Local 1362’s funds since 2017. In 2017, Barnes negotiated a Local 1362 check worth $9,000.  In May of 2021, Barnes negotiated a check for $4,000 with a memo entry falsely stating that the check was for “school books, t-shirts.”  In June of 2021, Barnes forged a check for $7,500 and made a cash withdrawal from the union’s account in the amount of $5,000. Barnes confessed that he used this money to pay his gambling debts.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the U.S. Department of Labor in investigating this matter. Assistant U. S. Attorney Rachal Cassagne of the Narcotics Unit is in charge of the prosecution.