Ex-union chief awaits embezzling sentence

The former head of United Steelworkers Union Local 1731 -- headquartered in White Hall -- is scheduled for sentencing this summer after pleading guilty in federal court this month to stealing more than $37,000 from the union, which represents workers at the Evergreen Packaging plant in Pine Bluff.

Trey Huffty, 44, of Pine Bluff was charged in January by the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock with one count of embezzlement of union funds and converting those funds to his personal use. Huffty pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. on April 6. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. before Marshall.

According to federal statute, Huffty is subject to a maximum prison term of five years, a maximum fine of $250,000 and a maximum of three years on supervised release. Under his plea agreement and U.S. sentencing guidelines, he is subject to enhancement of those terms because the amount of money exceeded $15,000 and because he abused the trust of the local union in committing the offense.

He is also subject to a reduction for acceptance of responsibility.

According to the plea agreement, Huffty agreed to repay the $37,368 he was found to have taken from the union.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards, Huffty was charged after an investigation by the office's Dallas-New Orleans field office.

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