On Thursday, it was announced that the former president of the United Auto Workers Local 2419 in Danville, Illinois had been sentenced to prison for embezzling union funds. 54-year-old Bob Buford of the 100 block of Shasta Drive in Danville has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for mail fraud related to the embezzlement of union funds. The defendant has also been ordered to pay restitution of $129,723.
Buford is expected to turn himself on December 5, 2017 to begin serving his sentence. He initially pleaded guilty to the mail fraud charge on March 9, 2017. Court documents show that Buford served as the union’s president from January 2007 to October 2011. At this time, he was also employed as a welder with Freight Car America.
During his tenure with the union, the union frequently collected fees and dues from members. The funds were deposited into accounts maintained by Buford. Buford often made cash withdrawals and issued cashier’s checks from the account and used the funds for his own personal benefit. He attempted to hide his scheme by sending false annual reports to the United States Department of Labor.
These false reports underreported the amount of fees and dues collected by the union. They also inflated the balance of the accounts and hid Buford’s personal withdrawals. Again, Bob Buford has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and will begin serving his sentence on December 5, 2017.