October 18, 2021

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Treasurer Of Law Enforcement Union Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion And Lying To Federal Officers | USAO-SDNY

Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, introduced that STEVEN WHITTICK, the previous treasurer of the Law Enforcement Workers Benevolent Association (“LEEBA”) and an officer with the New York Metropolis (the “City”) Division of Environmental Protection (“DEP”), pled responsible currently before United States District Decide P. Kevin Castel, to rates of conspiring to evade extra than $250,000 in federal taxes, like payroll taxes owed by LEEBA and its workforce, and his have personalized revenue taxes.  WHITTICK also pled responsible to lying to federal officers through the training course of the investigation in this scenario.  LEEBA is a labor union that represents certain regulation enforcement officers employed by the Town, which include officers from DEP, the Metropolis Office of Sanitation, and the Metropolis Office of Transportation. 

U.S. Lawyer Audrey Strauss stated: “Steven Whittick today pled responsible to prices that mirror a betrayal of his duties as a regulation enforcement officer, his legal obligations as a union formal, and his duties as a taxpayer.  As a police officer, Whittick swore to uphold the legislation, not to obstruct it.  As a union formal, he betrayed the rank-and-file membership by having to pay himself off the textbooks.  As a taxpayer, Whittick evaded his legal obligation to pay what was owed.  Now, Steven Whittick awaits sentencing for his crimes.”

In accordance to the Indictment and the underlying complaints filed in this scenario, as very well as other publicly out there data and prior court filings, and current court docket proceedings:

Regulation Enforcement Workers Benevolent Affiliation

LEEBA is a labor union that has acted as the collective bargaining agent principally for regulation enforce­ment staff at many Town agencies, and has entered into agreements on behalf of individuals regulation enforcement workers, including agreements for insurance plan and retirement added benefits.  The Metropolis businesses whose staff members LEEBA represented incorporated, at various periods, DEP, the Office of Sanitation, and the Division of Transportation.           

WHITTICK

WHITTICK is a DEP law enforcement officer, the former treasurer of LEEBA, and a member of the board of directors of LEEBA and the boards of trustees of the LEEBA Annuity Fund and the LEEBA Welfare Fund.  As LEEBA’s treasurer, WHITTICK had accountability for LEEBA’s fiscal issues and accounts, like arranging for LEEBA to fork out its payroll through an exterior payroll processing organization (the “Payroll Processor”) starting off in 2016.  WHITTICK also held signatory authority over LEEBA’s most important functioning lender account.

            The Tax Evasion Conspiracy

As charged in Rely Two of the Indictment, to which WHITTICK pled responsible right now, from at least in or about 2015 by way of 2019, WHITTICK participated in a conspiracy with Kenneth Wynder Jr.,[1] the president of LEEBA, to lead to LEEBA to make payments to WHITTICK and Wynder, by verify and in cash, and to conceal such payments from the Internal Earnings Support (“IRS”).  WHITTICK further conspired to make certain that this sort of payments ended up produced exterior of LEEBA’s Payroll Processor.  He then hid these payments from the IRS – such as off-the-publications payments to himself of extra than $100,000 and off-the-books payments to Wynder of extra than $400,000 – in purchase to evade his own personalized cash flow taxes and the particular cash flow taxes of Wynder, and to evade the payroll taxes that ended up owed by LEEBA and specific LEEBA workforce.

WHITTICK’s Wrong Statements to Federal Agents

In or about October 2019, when serving as LEEBA’s Treasurer and following studying of a federal investigation into LEEBA’s finances – including the investigation of an alleged embezzlement scheme that finally resulted in wire fraud expenses in opposition to Wynder – WHITTICK consistently lied to federal brokers in an effort and hard work to hinder that investigation.  WHITTICK did so regardless of private involvement in some of the economical improprieties with which Wynder is charged.  For example, as alleged, on at the very least two situations, on or about February 1, 2018, and March 30, 2018, WHITTICK withdrew $16,000 in funds from a LEEBA lender account, and on every occasion deposited $15,000 income into Wynder’s particular financial institution account and $1,000 funds into WHITTICK’s have own lender account. 

 

            Just after the FBI executed a look for warrant of LEEBA’s workplaces in September 2019, WHITTICK attempted to hinder and to affect the ongoing federal investigation by earning, in two different interviews with law enforcement agents, fake statements about, amid other subjects, funds withdrawals he manufactured from LEEBA’s lender accounts, unauthorized withdrawals from LEEBA’s Annuity Fund and from the personal retirement accounts of Fund contributors, and LEEBA’s payment for specified vacation and enjoyment bills for union officers, which includes WHITTICK and Wynder.

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WHITTICK, 51, of Kingston, New York, pled guilty right now to: (1) a person depend of conspiracy to evade individual and payroll taxes for the tax decades 2015 through 2018 and the very first three quarters of 2019 and (2) just one rely of lying to federal investigators.  Every single of these rates carries a greatest sentence of 5 yrs in prison, a highest wonderful of $250,000 or 2 times the gross acquire or reduction from the offense, and an purchase of restitution.  WHITTICK is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Castel on November 17, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. 

The greatest possible sentences in this circumstance are recommended by Congress and are offered here for informational reasons only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be identified by a judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the fantastic perform of the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Office of Labor Office environment of Labor Managements Criteria.  Ms. Strauss also thanked the New York Metropolis Comptroller’s Office environment and the New York Town Office of Investigation for their support.

The case is getting prosecuted by the Office’s Community Corruption Device.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Raymond Lewis and Eli J. Mark are in demand of the prosecution.

 


[1] Wynder is billed in 6 counts of the identical Indictment in which WHITTICK was charged.  The costs against Wynder contained in the Indictment are accusations only.  Wynder stays presumed harmless except if and until established responsible.