NY/NJ foreman falsely claimed $500,000 salary
A general foreman and member of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) at APM Terminals (APMT) at the Port of New York and New Jersey has been found guilty of fraudulently claiming a salary of nearly $500,000 a year between September 2015 and March 2017 – despite not working for much of that time.
Paul Moe Sr., 66, was convicted on October 31 by a federal jury in the US District of New Jersey on one count of wire fraud conspiracy and 13 counts of wire fraud.
In the trial, prosecutors argued that between September 2015 and March 2017, Mr Moe, a member of ILA Local 1804-1 and general foreman at the APM terminal’s rubber-tyre gantry department, worked at the terminal for as few as eight hours a week while earning weekly wages of $9,300.
To maintain the salary, prosecutors said, Mr Moe got two conspirators to submit false timesheets on his behalf, some of which showed him working 16 hours of overtime.
Mr Moe was found guilty of a wire fraud charge for each of the 13 weeks that he was paid as if he had worked a 40-hour week during which he often failed to turn up for work, in some instances because he was out of the state or the country — including trips to Florida and Aruba, prosecutors said.
The maximum sentence for each count is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Mr Moe is one of a number of ILA members with off-contract agreements, unique to the port, that mean that they are paid whenever their terminal, container yard or work gang is operating.
Phoebe Sorial, general counsel for the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, which was involved in the investigation and prosecution of the general foreman, described the conviction as “a tremendous stride in combatting corruption on the waterfront and enhancing port efficiency”.
Currently, over 400 employees collectively receive payments of over $117m each year for unworked hours, she said.
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