Special Report from Business Manager Russ Burns: IT Investigation Update

On Monday, August 20, 2018, the Business Manager sent an email announcement to the members whose emails we have on file, regarding an update to the IT investigation. If you did not receive the email and want to be included in future e-mails from Local 3, contact your district office and ask the staff to add your e-mail to our system. Click here for contact information for Local 3’s 14 district offices.

The full message is reprinted below.

At the March Semi-Annual Meeting earlier this year, I promised to keep you updated regarding the investigation of former OE3 IT employees. Consistent with my fiduciary obligations to our members, I authorized the filing of a civil lawsuit in Federal District Court on August 15, 2018, against former OE3 employees Scott Wilson, Dennis Kelsey and Eugene Romero as well as Wilson’s wife, his brother-in-law and his long-time friend. The civil complaint also alleges and names as Defendants three IT vendor companies that former IT Director Wilson and his co-conspirators covertly formed, owned and operated for the purpose of defrauding OE3. The scheme involved sales of IT hardware, software, and services to OE3, in violation of the law and of the former employees’ duties to OE3.

The Defendants executed this carefully calculated and deliberate scheme through a sophisticated system of fraudulent invoicing by the Defendant companies, often for highly technical IT goods and services. Throughout their activities, they concealed Wilson’s ownership interests and control of the companies from OE3, all while Wilson and his fellow OE3 employees were entrusted with oversight of IT department procurement. Their deceptive practices also entailed false statements to auditors and OE3’s officers, shell companies, fictitious vendor employees and middlemen, backdated and fraudulent contract documents, aliases, data shredding software, and encrypted data and communications.

These former employees abused and betrayed Local 3’s trust and we are seeking the maximum amount of damages permitted by law, including treble (or triple) damages, punitive damages and our attorneys’ fees. The 86-page complaint seeks to remedy the harm suffered by the OE3 members for Defendants’ fraudulent and deceptive practices, aimed at swindling OE3 out of almost $5,000,000. The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants violated numerous Federal and state laws including the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as well as fraud, conspiracy and breach of the fiduciary obligation that Wilson, Kelsey and Romero all owed to OE3 and our members. I encourage every member to review the full complaint by clicking this link.

Even as OE3 is enforcing the rights of its members through this civil lawsuit, we are continuing to cooperate with Federal law enforcement on this matter. We have also implemented, and will continue to implement, additional measures to further ensure that the type of conduct that the Defendants committed will not be repeated at OE3.

I will provide further updates as the case proceeds. Thank you for your continued support.