The former president of the union that represents Los Angeles County government workers has agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud and tax charges in connection with an alleged scheme to collect illicit consulting payments from a labor-related nonprofit, officials said Thursday.
Alejandro Stephens, a longtime leader of the Service Employees International Union local, signed an agreement to plead guilty to one count of filing a false income tax return and two counts of mail fraud, the U.S. attorney's office said.
He is accused of pocketing more than $50,000 in fees from the Voter Improvement Program through bogus consulting contracts, court documents say. The nonprofit was formed in the 1990s by the late Miguel Contreras, who was head of the L.A. County Federation of Labor.
The court documents refer to the nonprofit's founder only by the initials M.C. They allege that M.C. entered into an arrangement with Stephens to pay the fees to him and four associates in 2004 and 2005. The bulk of the money paid to the associates was funneled to Stephens, the documents say.