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Former union officials charged after allegedly stealing from pension funds

Funds were allegedly stolen from factory employees in Bayonne and Jersey City

The three individuals allegedly stole funds from pension checks after cashing them.

Former union officials have been arrested and charged after allegedly stealing from the pension funds of employees at two factories in Hudson County, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

The Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit has charged three individuals with the theft in excess of $50,000 of pension funds for workers at a factory in Bayonne and another in Jersey City. Two of the three individuals involved are labor union officials, from the United Production Workers (UPW) Union Local 17-18 out of Brooklyn.

Francisco Jara, Elkin Garcia, and Marta Garay are accused of a scheme involving cashing pension loan checks, the prosecutor’s office said. They allegedly cashed the checks while retaining a portion of the funds.

Pension funds allegedly stolen

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

Jara, a 63, from Brooklyn and a former business representative for the union, has been charged with theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking in violation and conspiracy, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Garcia, 55, a former shop steward from Bayonne, has been charged with theft by deception and conspiracy.

Marta Garay, 52, from Brooklyn, has been charged with theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

All three are scheduled for their first court appearance at 1 p.m. on July 7 in the Central Judicial Processing Court at 595 Newark Avenue in Jersey City.

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

The above charges are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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