Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Former Hunts Point Police Benevolent Association President Charged With Embezzlement Of Union Funds

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Andriana Vamvakas, District Director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards, U.S. Department of Labor (“OLMS”), announced today the arrest of VICTOR DAVILA, the former president of the Hunts Point Police Benevolent Association (“HPPBA”), for embezzling union funds. As alleged in a Complaint unsealed today, DAVILA stole more than $35,000 from the HPPBA by fraudulently charging personal expenses to the HPPBA and by withdrawing thousands of dollars in cash from union accounts for his own purposes. DAVILA will be presented this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Victor Davila allegedly embezzled thousands of dollars from the union he was entrusted to serve as its president. Instead of serving his fellow police officers, he allegedly stole from them, using union funds to pay for his own travel to Puerto Rico, meals, and other personal expenses.”

DOL-OLMS District Director Andriana Vamvakas said: “Union officials are required to use the union’s funds only for legitimate purposes, not their own personal gain. Financial mismanagement by union officials not only breaks the law, it betrays the trust their membership placed in them.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

The HPPBA is the union for peace officers who work at and patrol the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, New York. DAVILA served as the elected president of the HPPBA from in or about March 2011 through in or about March 2014. Beginning in at least July 2011, only months after becoming the union’s president, through February 2014, DAVILA stole money from the union by using an HPPBA debit card, linked to an HPPBA checking account, to charge expenses with no apparent relation to the business of the HPPBA, including, among other things: (1) multiple charges at a wholesale club in Westchester, New York, including for the purchase of eggs, soap, facial cream, a baking set, a waterproof camcorder, flowers, a video game, a mystery novel, women’s clothing, and a showerhead, (2) multiple charges at fast food and other restaurants, and (3) multiple charges for plane tickets to Puerto Rico. In addition, DAVILA withdrew thousands of dollars in cash from the HPPBA checking account using ATMs, and frequently then deposited corresponding amounts of cash into his own bank account. Based on the investigation to date, it appears that DAVILA stole more than $35,000 in total from the HPPBA.

DAVILA, 50, of the Bronx, New York, was arrested this morning in Manhattan. DAVILA was charged with embezzling union funds, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Kim praised the efforts of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, in this investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Jacob Warren is in charge of the prosecution.

The charge contained in the Complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

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