$150,000 in Bribes Demanded from an Employer in Exchange for Not Representing Union Members’ Interests
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced this week that Glenn Blicht, the former president of a labor union (the “Union”), was sentenced to 24 months in prison for violating the Taft-Hartley Act by demanding and accepting approximately $150,000 in bribe payments from an employer (the “Employer”). In exchange for these bribes, BLICHT did not represent Union members’ interests. BLICHT previously pled guilty before United States District Judge Analisa Torres, who also imposed today’s sentence.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As the president of a labor union, Glenn Blicht’s duty was to fight for his union members. Instead, he repeatedly sold them out in exchange for cash bribes, which he spent on luxury items. For this betrayal, he has been sentenced to federal prison.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment to which BLICHT pled guilty, public court filings, and statements made in court:
From 2009 through 2019, BLICHT served as an officer of the Union, including as its president for many years. In that role, BLICHT had a duty to act in the best interests of the Union and its members, including by avoiding personal financial conflicts of interest with the Union. Nevertheless, BLICHT demanded and received cash payments from the Employer, which employed a number of members of the Union. For instance, on July 26, 2019, BLICHT received a $10,000 cash bribe from an official of the Employer at a restaurant in New York, New York; BLICHT was arrested outside this restaurant, in possession of the $10,000 bribe.
In exchange for these bribes, BLICHT repeatedly declined to represent Union members’ interests, such as declining to pursue arbitration claims on their behalf. In total, BLICHT received approximately $150,000 in bribes from the Employer over about 10 years.
BLICHT used the monies he received to purchase luxury items, such as designer watches, custom clothing, tickets to sporting events, meals at expensive restaurants, and cigars.
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In addition to his prison term, BLICHT, 57, of Wilton, Connecticut, was ordered to serve two years of supervised release. BLICHT was also ordered to forfeit $150,000 in criminal proceeds. Under the terms of his plea agreement, BLICHT has also agreed to a 13-year ban, which generally prohibits him from, among other things, being employed by a labor union or employee benefit plan, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §§ 504 and 1111.
Mr. Berman praised the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their outstanding work on the investigation. Mr. Berman also thanked the Department of Justice’s Labor-Management Racketeering Unit of the Organized Crime and Gang Section for its assistance in this case.
This matter is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Neff is in charge of the prosecution.