Ex-Teamsters boss gets 6 1/2 years in federal prison

May 29, 2007: By Cindy George from the Houston Chronicle--A federal judge today ordered that Chuck Crawley spend six and a half years in federal prison for his schemes to control Houston's largest Teamsters union and enrich himself.

The former Local 988 president was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon.

Crawley, 57, was convicted in December of arranging a $20,000 kickback from a vendor and rigging the local's 2002 election.

A jury found him guilty of mail fraud, falsifying union records and two counts of embezzlement.

He was arrested last June and has been in custody since being convicted.

Prosecutors estimated today that Crawley collected $1 million in kickbacks, salary and pension payments over six years as a result of rigging the 2002 local election, for which he was convicted, and for his three years as president after the 1999 vote, about which revelations of a ballot theft emerged in last year's trial.

Crawley's predecessor, Richard Hammond, spent four years in federal prison after a 1998 conviction for embezzling union funds.

The local's budget comes from the dues of its estimated 4,000 Houston-area members. UPS workers make up the majority of the membership, mostly drivers and truckers who haul everything from packages and computers to groceries and pharmaceuticals.

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