The former chief of staff of the Laborer’s International Union of North America was convicted for fraudulently arranging for labor union health coverage for his girlfriend.
A federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on July 30 convicted Roderick Marvin Bennett, of Camden, Ark., on one count of health care fraud. Without the knowledge of union officials, Bennett illegally placed his girlfriend on the health care plan provided for the union's headquarters employees in Washington, D.C. although he knew she was not eligible for the coverage.
Bennett, who faces up to five years in prison on the charge, will be sentenced sentenced on Oct. 14 for all of his convictions.
Bennett worked as union chief of staff at headquarters for about four years, until October 2016. In January 2018 he pleaded guilty to three counts of theft from a labor organization for illegally charging more than $150,000 in purchases to his union-issued credit card. It was unknown at press time whether Bennett served prison time for those convictions.
Bennett’s most recent conviction is not part of a larger investigation, said Joshua Stueve, senior communications advisor for the US Department of Justice. He declined to comment on whether the department thinks unions should have stricter financial controls to avoid such problems in the future.