Former Danville union president gets 21 months for embezzling funds

Former Danville union president gets 21 months for embezzling funds

PEORIA — A former president of Danville United Auto Workers Local 2419 has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

On Thursday in Peoria, Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid sentenced Bob Buford, 54, who listed an address in the 100 block of Shasta Drive, Danville, to federal prison for mail fraud related to embezzling union funds.

He pleaded guilty to the charge on March 9.

The case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.

According to court documents, between January 2007 and October 2011, while Buford was working as a welder at FreightCar America in Danville and serving as president of Local 2419, he made cash withdrawals and issued cashier's checks from accounts holding dues and fees deducted from members' paychecks and used the money for his own benefit.

The documents said Buford then covered up his actions by sending false annual reports to the U.S. Department of Labor that underreported the amounts of dues and fees collected from members, inflated the balance of union accounts and omitted his personal withdrawals.

Buford is scheduled to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Dec. 5 to start his sentence. He must serve a three years of supervised release once it is complete.

Shadid also ordered Buford to pay $129,723 in restitution.

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