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Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) presidential campaign paid over $60,000 to the consulting firm of the campaign's senior adviser, Chuck Rocha, who embezzled thousands of dollars from the United Steelworkers Union between 2008 and 2009.
The Sanders campaign made three separate payments to Solidarity Strategies, which was founded by Rocha, between early April and late May. According to his most recent campaign filing, the Sanders campaign paid $61,330 to Rocha's firm for "consulting" and "political strategy."
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Rocha was serving as the political director for the United Steelworkers Union when he embezzled funds between 2008 and 2009. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to one count of union embezzlement and also "acknowledged" he was responsible for the other 17 counts, Politico reported in 2016.
Rocha - Member - Steelworkers - Directors - Points
Rocha wasn't a merely a rank-and-file member of the Steelworkers back then: Political directors are the main points of contact between union leadership and policymakers, and they often have unfettered access to union coffers. Rocha managed a $30 million budget in his position, according to an online biography.
A federal grand jury indicted Rocha in 2012 on 18 counts arising from his alleged misuse of union funds. The indictment claimed Rocha misused a union credit card and voucher system, spending union money on golfing trips to Florida and Myrtle Beach, S.C., and personal trips to London and Orlando, among other expenditures.
Rocha - Years - Years - Probation - Fine
Rocha, who was 43 years old when he was indicted, was sentenced to two years probation in 2013 and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for embezzling the union funds, according to the Department of Labor. Before he pled guilty, he was already ordered to pay $12,449 back to the United Steelworkers Union. Politico also noted his plea deal "barred him...
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