About three years ago, leaders with the United Steelworkers International Union Local 458 had some concerns about finances.
They appointed a new treasurer and asked for the financial books from the old treasurer, Martin Mosher. When Mosher hesitated, suspicion grew, said Frank Bragg, a state representative for the United Steelworkers International Union.
While checking the discrepancies with the bank, Mosher turned over the financial records. Union leaders learned Mosher had improperly written checks to himself and his bank account, Bragg said.
“This was stealing his co-workers’ union dues,” Bragg said. “Something the USW frowns upon and doesn’t take lightly.”
He immediately quit his job at GAF Materials Corp. in Tampa, where he had worked for around 20 years, and hasn’t been heard of since, Bragg said.
Last week, a grand jury with the U.S. District Court in Tampa indicted Mosher on a charge of embezzling more than $44,000 from the local union bank account, according to court records.
As treasurer for Local Union 458, Mosher handled dues for 60 production and maintenance employees with GAF Materials Corp. in Tampa, Bragg said.
In the 2007, 2008 and 2009 union financial report, he stated that he received $1,200 to $1,400 per year in pay. In reality, he received $14,000 in 2007, $11,000 in 2008 and $19,000 in 2009, according to court records.
“It nearly depleted the treasury,” Bragg said.
Mosher told investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards that he was entitled to a salary of $1,000 a month as treasurer from 2005 to 2010, according to court records.
But the records also say he knew he wasn’t supposed to be paid that much money. He wasn’t even entitled to write checks and sign them, Bragg said.
Mosher, 51, whose last known address was in Plant City, couldn’t be reached for comment.
“We had faith,” Bragg said. “Sometimes faith is misguided. No one would have expected him to do that. He showed no signs of doing something like that.
“I’m pleased that he’ll be able to face the government, and hopefully repay the money to the local union,” Bragg said.