A federal judge Thursday sentenced the former head of one of L.A.’s most powerful labor unions to prison for fraud.
As head of the Service Employees International Union Local 660, Alejandro Stephens once represented 50,000 L.A. County employees. He enjoyed a lot of political clout — until federal prosecutors charged him with fraud.
They say he bilked $52,000 from a union-backed nonprofit called the Voter Improvement Project by entering into bogus consulting agreements that included friends and family. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion.
Stephen’s attorney asked the court to sentence his 66-year-old client to probation; one reason was his client’s failing health. Prosecutors argued for prison.
The judge gave Stephens four months behind bars and three more months of home confinement.
His old union’s since merged with others in the region as part of a restructuring of the Service Employees International Union.