3 charged, including 2 ex-Hudson County labor union officials, with stealing $50k from pension funds

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Three people, including two former labor officials, were charged with stealing over $50,000 from pension funds at two separate Hudson County factories, County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Photo via local1718.com.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit has charged three individuals, including two former union officials from the United Production Workers (UPW) Union Local 17-18 out of Brooklyn, New York, with the theft in excess of $50,000 of pension funds for workers at two Hudson County factories, Suarez said in a statement.

Francisco Jara, a former business representative for the union, and Elkin Garcia, a former shop steward, as well as Marta Garay, are charged with cashing pension loan checks and retaining a portion of the funds.

The alleged theft, which occurred on various dates between June of 2017 and July of 2019, was from more than $50,000 of pension funds for employees working at Star Snacks Company in Jersey City and/or Gel Spice Company in Bayonne.

Additionally, Jara, 63, of Brooklyn, has been charged with theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, and conspiracy, authorities said, while Garcia, 55, of Bayonne, has been charged with theft by deception and conspiracy.

Furthermore, Marta Garay, 52, of Brooklyn, has been charged with theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy, officials said.

All three individuals are scheduled to have their first court appearance at 1 p.m. on July 7th Central Judicial Processing Court, located at 595 Newark Ave. in Jersey City.

Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office HCPO Special Investigations Unit with the investigation.

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