U.S. Attorney’s Office
July 30, 2013
Western District of New York
Elmira Woman Indicted for Embezzling Workers’ Pension and Health Care Money
ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury in Rochester has returned a three-count indictment charging Linda Riner, 62, of Elmira, New York, with embezzling money from Local Laborer’s 1358 employee pension and welfare benefit funds and lying to federal investigators about this matter. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that Riner was the funds administrator of the Local Laborer’s 1358 employee benefit plans and owed those plans a fiduciary duty. Instead of honoring that duty, the defendant took advantage of her position to pay herself and her staff thousands of dollars in “Christmas bonuses” without authorization. In addition, when interviewed by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Labor about these bonuses, Riner sought to mislead investigators by claiming that the payments had been approved. In total, the defendant stole approximately $9,000 from the plans.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, and the Department of Labor, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Lapina.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.