Little Rock, Arkansas – Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Michelle Hussar, District Director for the United States Department of Labor Office of Labor Management Standards, announced today that Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller sentenced Jeni May Hughes, 51, of Jacksonville, to 30 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $425,000 from Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union No. 155 (Local 155).
In addition to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, Judge Miller ordered Hughes to pay $428,874.47 in restitution. Hughes served as the office manager for Local 155 for more than 15 years. Her official duties included collecting monthly dues from the organization’s roughly 900 members, depositing the funds, and maintaining Local 155’s ledger.
On the eve of an outside audit in March 2016, Hughes abruptly tendered her resignation. In the weeks that followed, auditors gradually uncovered a $428,874.47 shortfall in union receipts. This prompted a formal Department of Labor investigation. It revealed that from January 2005 until her departure in March 2016 Hughes routinely failed to deposit Local 155’s cash dues, instead diverting the funds into her own personal account.
The full press release is available at justice.gov.