Once powerful LA union boss faces indictment on embezzlement

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He was once one of the most powerful union leaders in Los Angeles. Now, Tyrone Freeman faces the possibility of federal prison time for allegedly diverting tens of thousands of dollars for personal use, including his Hawaii wedding.

“While serving as president of his local union, Freeman allegedly used his position to enrich himself at the expense of union members,” said Abel Salinas of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

Freeman, 42, once headed the Service Employees International Union, Local 6434. The union represents nearly 200,000 home healthcare workers in Los Angeles County. He was an influential in local politics. He was also corrupt, according to prosecutors.

“Today’s indictment demonstrates the Office of Inspector General’s commitment to investigating allegations of labor racketeering in our nation’s unions,” Salinas said.

After a four-year investigation, a federal grand jury charged Freeman with four counts of mail fraud, seven counts of embezzlement and three counts of subscribing to a false tax return. Prosecutors said Freeman pilfered $2,500 dollars a month from his and other unions.

In the past, Freeman has denied any wrongdoing.

Here's what the indictment said:

“From in or about January 2007 through on or about August 22, 2008, defendant Freeman concealed from the Local 6434 Executive Board and the CUHW Executive Board that, through the scheme, defendant Freeman was receiving payments of $2,500 per month in addition to the regular salary that he received from Local 6434."

Prosecutors said the three tax charges allege that Freeman subscribed to false tax returns in 2006, 2007 and 2008 when he failed to report approximately $100,000 in income he received during those tax years.

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