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Grand jury indicts former union president accused of embezzling more than $100K

United Auto Workers location in Lafayette, IN. (WISH Photo)

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLFI) – A grand jury has ruled in favor of an indictment for the former president of United Auto Workers Local 2317.

Michael Bennett is accused of embezzling more than $100,000. He made out 170 checks to himself and either cashed the checks or deposited the money into his bank account.

UAW Local 2317 represents more than 700 employees at Fairfield Manufacturing.

Bennett forged the signature of the local UAW’s treasurer on the checks. The company’s treasurer was unaware that Bennett was embezzling funds.

Bennett claimed mileage and other expenses for union-related trips he never took. It escaped notice from several internal audits because not all travel expenses require receipts.

According to the case, Bennett profited by renting out the Local 2317 union hall as a side business and not reporting the revenue.

Bennett used the proceeds of these fraudulent reimbursements for his own personal expenses. He also returned items purchased for the company’s activities and kept the money for his own personal use.

He has three counts of embezzlement of labor union assets and three counts of wire fraud.

There is no court date set at this time.

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