Juneau carpenter admits embezzling union funds

A Juneau man convicted of stealing funds from his union will be sentenced on Dec. 1.

Jonathan Henry Smith, 42, could spend as much as 5 years in prison and be ordered to pay a fine of as much as $250,000. He will also be ordered to repay $41,770.47 to the Carpenters Union Local 2247, starting with $7,500 due at sentencing.

Smith changed his plea to guilty to a single count of embezzlement of union funds in U.S. District Court in Juneau on Tuesday.

Local 2247 had about 150 members between June 2006 and May 2012. Smith was elected as financial secretary, an unpaid position, and would deposit union dues into a checking account used for Local 2247’s basic expenses.

In the plea agreement signed by Smith last week, he admitted obtaining an ATM debit card to draw funds from that account to pay for alcohol, meals, travel, gambling in Washington state and Las Vegas, and other personal expenditures.

According to court documents, Smith also drew between $66,000 and $93,000 a year as business agent for the Alaska Regional Council of Carpenters.

Local 2247’s members were absorbed by Anchorage’s Carpenter Union Local 1281 in May 2013 as part of an effort by United Brotherhood of Carpenters to streamline operations.

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