A former U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer and former president of a local union for government employees were indicted on federal charges of allegedly embezzling funds from the union he represented.
A grand jury indictment filed against Felix Luciano, 60, of San Diego alleged he used Local 2805’s debit and credit cards to pay for those expenses and made checks out to himself from the union checking account using false descriptions on the note line, such as “per diem.” Luciano has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Luciano allegedly took union dues to pay for his expenses, including luxury travel, payments to his personal credit card, payments to support his wife’s business, purchase of a gun safe, retail purchases, dining, and groceries, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Prosecutors alleged he hid the embezzlement by falsifying the union’s annual financial reports. In a 2017 report, Luciano allegedly reported that Local 2805 had disbursed $3,068 to him (directly or indirectly) when the correct figure was more than $20,000, prosecutors said.
“When employees pay their hard-earned money into labor unions, they reasonably expect the officers of those organizations to be honest stewards of their dues,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Our office will work diligently to pursue justice against offenders who have allegedly stolen from their unions at the expense of members.
Luciano retired as the local's president in December 2018 in the course of an audit of Local 2805 by the Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors said Luciano, a former enforcement removal officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was president of the labor union that represents DHS-ICE employees in San Diego and Imperial counties from 2011 through December 2018
Luciano is due back in federal court on Oct. 3.