A former official of a Laborers’ International Union of North America local has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing $1.7 million from the local, the Dept. of Justice says.

Anthony Wendel Frederick Sr., who had been business manager of the union’s Local 657, pleaded guilty on Oct. 31 before U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta in Washington, D.C., DOJ said in a Nov. 1 statement.

The local represents workers in Washington, D.C., and five neighboring counties.

According to DOJ, Frederick, 50, of Upper Marlboro, Md., admitted that, from May 2013 to June 2014, he directed more than $1.7 million from the local to STS Contracting, Greenbelt, Md., without knowledge or approval of the local’s executive board or officials at the union’s headquarters.

STS officials then made payments to Frederick from the diverted funds, the Justice Dept. said. The money went to a $225,000 down payment on a house that Frederick bought and for constructing a garage on that site, as well as more than $600,000 to a company of which Frederick’s wife was a part owner, according to DOJ.

Frederick was Local 657’s business manager for about a decade, until June 2014, when LIUNA removed him from his job after the union’s audit and investigation of the charges, according to a September 2015 federal criminal complaint filed in the district court.

The filing also said that LIUNA had put Local 657 in a trusteeship and forwarded the matter to DOJ for further action.

A recording said a phone number for STS General Contracting on a business-listing web page was out of service.

LIUNA did not respond immediately to an ENR request for comment.