Carpenters Union Members Charged With Embezzlement

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HAMMOND -

A former member of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters has pleaded guilty to embezzlement from the union's healthcare fund. The U.S. Department of Labor says Luka Kljajic is the 28th member of the union to be charged in federal court for submitting false claims to the fund, which has resulted in nearly $500,000 in restitution being paid to the IKORCC Welfare Fund.

Kljajic admitted to submitting false reimbursement claims for medical expenses between 2012 and 2014, as well as assisting other members in submitting false claims and charge a fee between $100 and $500 for assisting them with each claim. As part of his plea agreement, Kljajic will reimburse the fund more than $47,000 for the funds he received.

"The Employee Benefits Security Administration will continue to investigate such crimes aggressively on behalf of workers nationwide as part of the Department’s mission to protect the rights of America’s workers,” said EBSA Regional Director Jeffrey Monhart.

Kljajic will be sentenced November 19. The DOL says the federal investigation of the union is ongoing.

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