Ex-Boilermakers business manager Raymond Ventrone sentenced for embezzlement
The former business manager for Boilermakers Local Lodge 154 has been sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison on convictions of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets and income tax evasion, federal authorities said.
Prosecutors say Raymond Ventrone, 60, of Pittsburgh caused a $3 million loss to the union between January 2010 and June 2015.
Among the things Ventrone bought with the money were Coco Lunette eyeglasses, drums, percussion instruments and musical accessories and furnishings for his son's apartment, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said Monday.
Authorities said Ventrone was forced to resign from his position — the most powerful position in the union — when the thefts were discovered. They said he “used his unchecked power to authorize payments of retail goods that were of no use to the union. Some of these items were stored in his home, others were stored in storage units paid for by the local, and others were on the local's premises, but not accessible to members.”
Ventrone also unnecessarily involved his son, a former NFL player, in the thefts by renting him an apartment on the local's property for $500 per month, authorities said.
“The rental included a full and complete private fitness center with several large televisions that was not for the use or benefit of union members, but only for his son's use,” authorities said. “Local 154 also paid the utilities.”
The following is a list of payments to retail establishments authorities say were made by Local 154 at Ventrone's direction:
• About $970,000 at Best Buy;
• $105,000 at the Apple Store;
• $527,000 spent on Louis Vuitton purchases;
• $198,602; $38,000 spent on drums, percussion instruments and musical accessories that the defendant maintained under lock and key on the premises of Local 154, unavailable and off-limits to Local 154 members;
• $10,623.95 spent on Coco Lunette eyeglasses for the defendant; $26,000 spent on concrete work at the defendant's home; and
• $9,000 spent on a kitchen remodel at the defendant's home.
U.S. District Judge Mark R. Hornak imposed the sentence, which included three years of probation and restitution fees to the Boilermakers Union, Zurich Surety and Financial Claims of Schaumburg, Ill., and the Internal Revenue Service.