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Former FAA Air Traffic Control Assistant Sentenced in Connection with Theft of Employee Union Funds and Falsification of Records

On February 14, 2014, Rufino Sanchez, a former FAA Air Traffic Control Assistant at the New York Center, MacArthur Airport, Ronkonkoma, New York, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Central Islip, New York, to 4 years probation and 6 months of home detention. He was also ordered pay $18,765 in restitution and to forfeit $18,765.

Sanchez served as Local President for Local R-310, National Association of Government Employees. The Local's members operate FAA terminal radar approach control (TRACON) facilities throughout the U.S. Sanchez opened the Local's checking account as sole signatory in December 2004. Sanchez withdrew funds, paid into this account by members for union dues, to use for his own personal expenses. As an official of the Local, Sanchez was also required to complete and submit Labor Organization Annual Reports to the U.S. Department of Labor at the end of each fiscal year and on these forms, Sanchez falsely stated that less than $100 was paid to Local officials and that the monies were spent on official Local matters. Sanchez had been an employee of the FAA for approximately 36 years. 

On August 25, 2012, during the course of the investigation, Sanchez resigned from federal service.