Former SEIU Local Leader Gets 33 Months in Prison

Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2013

The former president of California’s biggest union local was sentenced Monday to 33 months in federal prison for stealing from his low-income members to finance an expensive lifestyle that included being married to two women at the same time.

Declaring that Tyrone Freeman betrayed the “sacred trust” of the workers he represented, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins also ordered him pay to about $150,000 in restitution and barred him from holding office in any union for 13 years after he is released from prison.

Tyrone Freeman

Tyrone Freeman

“He lost sight of his mission,” Collins said of Freeman, once a rising star in the national labor movement who headed a Los Angeles-based local of the powerful Service Employees International Union.

Before Collins imposed the sentence, Freeman stood before the judge and cried as he asked for leniency, acknowledging that his “bad decisions” hurt the workers and his family.


The case grew out of a series of Times reports on Freeman’s financial practices as president of SEIU Local 6434. Beginning in 2008, the stories focused on his actions to direct tens of thousands of dollars from the union and a related nonprofit to relatives and friends, in addition to his lavish spending on a Four Seasons Resort golf tournament, restaurants and a Beverly Hills cigar club.

The resulting scandal quickly cost Freeman his job and rippled through the SEIU, leading to the ouster of several other union officials.

Last year, his wife, Pilar Planells, pleaded guilty to an income tax charge in connection with more than $540,000 she had received in consulting payments from the union while Freeman was president. To avoid prison, she agreed to pay about $130,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties, according to court records.

On Monday, prosecutors said they believed the sentence for Freeman was fair, although they had asked for a prison term of more than three years. “He abused some of the poorest working-class members of this community,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Elisa Fernandez said.

In arguing for a lighter punishment, Freeman’s attorneys said their client had devoted much of his life to helping others and caring for his family. Prosecutors responded to that portrayal by pointing to a slew of wrongdoing Freeman is accused of having committed—including bigamy and having sexual affairs with union staff members—beyond the offenses for which he was convicted in January.


Until his fall from grace, Freeman represented about 190,000 home-care workers in the SEIU chapter and an affiliated local, whose members made as little as $9 an hour. He wielded significant clout in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Washington, D.C., because he commanded deep sources of campaign money and foot soldiers. The SEIU’s leadership was grooming him for a larger role in the union’s national operations just as the scandal broke.

He was indicted last year on charges of embezzling from the union and using some of the stolen money to cover costs from his Hawaiian wedding to Planells. Other charges were mail fraud, violation of tax laws and giving false information to a mortgage lender.

The government alleged that he boosted his salary by illegally directing Local 6434 money to the affiliated organization he led, California United Homecare Workers. He was charged with similarly defrauding the union-funded nonprofit formed to build homes for low-wage workers.

At the time, Freeman’s annual compensation was about $200,000, making him one of the higher-paid union officers in the nation.


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  • SEIU sponsored the amnesty bongo party on the “closed” National Mall.

    Which is why working middle class native born white Americans can’t count on official organized labor anymore, because they’re thrown in with the electoral prospects of the Democrat Party and its desire to throw the borders wide open to any non white that wants to come in and vote Democrat.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Union jobs trump race for these working middle class Whites. $ is thicker than blood for these people. So sad.

      • Actually, the notion that “union” and “working middle class white” are the same thing is obsolete. So many unions today are either private sector service jobs, heavily black and Hispanic, or public employees.

    • Xerxes22

      One quarter of the SEIU’s membership consists of Hispanic immigrants and its president is a lesbian. That is hardly the norm for a labor union. The problem is that too many top union officials like Trumka are owned by the Democratic party. The unions give their allegiance and money to the Democratic party and the members get nothing in return. If the Republican party would tone down its open hatred for workers and their unions, they could make some major inroads in that area.

      • Except there aren’t that many white union members left to be had, not compared to the recent past. As it is, white union members have the same voting propensities ceteris paribus as white people who aren’t members of unions.

        • dd121

          Did you wonder why Obama and Co. can’t implement a simple sign-up system to implement Obamacare at a cost of 630 million dollars with three year lead time? I suspect that if government agencies or contractors reach a certain critical mass of blacks as employees the whole mess stops working and the agency essentially implodes. You’ll never see a story on this subject in the msm.

          • Jesse James

            Yes the November element percentage is always a pretty good efficiency indicator. Some of the nations best urban hospitals are cursed by this factor.

      • WR_the_realist

        The SEIU is as radical as they get. They are to foot soldiers for the Obama agenda.

      • Brian

        Indeed, the GOP is far too friendly with the country club set, and if they want to win again, they have to become the white party– and that means working class whites too.

  • Rhialto

    The Freeman case is another example of African lack of self control. He certainly is a man of at least average intelligence, and must have known the consequences of his thieving, yet he could not restrain his greedy impulses.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Next stop for Mr. Freeman, mayor of Detroit.

  • Spartacus

    A groid broke the law !?!? What is the world coming to ?

  • [Guest]

    >>>“He lost sight of his mission.”

    No, he fulfilled his mission in a predictable fashion. It’s just that he got caught.

  • bigone4u

    Never leave blacks in charge of money. It has a way of disappearing. Ditto Mexicans.

    • Are you saying we should leave blacks in charge of Mexicans?

      • bigone4u

        Unintentionally funny, I was. No, if blacks were in charge of Mexicans, both would “disappear” in an orgy of miscegenation. I’m not smart enough to know whether the resulting blend would be better or worse than now.

        • Sick of it

          Zambos were traditionally known to be both extremely violent and ugly.

  • So CAL Snowman

    This black guy had to be screwing over countless hispanic people of color. Yet another nail in the coffin of the racial utopia the liberals are hoping for after the fall of the White man.

  • libertarian1234

    I’ve observed from reading their comments and learning about their views on many things, that black fraud is partly based on the strongly held belief that whitey steals if he’s in a position to do so, so they’re certainly not going to let an opportunity pass them by.

    Which allows them to rationalize their own criminal conduct. They also think that whites are “given” most all jobs and don’t really qualify for them due to favoritism and bias.

    But that isn’t the only thing that influences their thinking if it can be called “thinking.” Being arrogant and blinded by stupidity, they see themselves as greater in intelligence and ability than any cracker who might be a competitor, and they’re convinced the same positions are not available to them, because of bias. That the vast majority of them are not qualified doesn’t even enter into their self-absorbed, egotistic mentality.

  • Sick of it

    $200,000 a year and he still has to steal money?

    • Jesse James

      $200K probably doesn’t go as far in California.

  • Greg Thomas

    SEIU= The illegal invading mexican union.

  • IKantunderstand

    Yup, once again, I did not finish the article. WARNING***: Unparagraphed rant ahead. Blacks in this country act exactly like Blacks the world over. The only thing they are capable of doing is cheating and embezzling money. Make no mistake, they are fabulous at this enterprise. Now, we Whites, have to figure out how to utilize this talent. Because, let’s face it, this talent is right up there with all the technological advances of White civilization! We, are, of course, equal! Our equality is manifested in the fact that Beyonce and JayZ always go to Europe to vacation. All successful Blacks go to Europe to vacation. Why don’t they go to Africa? Huh? What on Earth is wrong with Africa? Are we not all the same ? Are we not all exactly alike? Skin color is the only difference. And, yet, Beyonce and jay Z, and Kanye go to EUROPE for vacation. Why don’t they go to Kenya? Tanzania? Uganda? Liberia? Huh? Why not? Their countries reflect their sub standard civilization. NOBODY wants to go there. There is nothing of any cultural value to visit. No grand museums. No fabulous architecture. No couture shops. No outstanding five star restaurants. If these Black entertainers care that much about their fellow Blacks, then why are not they flocking to Africa to help the very people they so identify with? Seriously? Oprah pays for one damn school. Big deal. Why don’t these hip hop artists flock to Africa, and actually do something for the people they identify with the most? Hey, guess what? Blacks in America DO NOT identify with Africans. Nope. Blacks in America think they are better than Africans, but, they are seething with resentment that they will never be considered as the equal of Whites. And, they are correct in that assessment. No matter how rich, no matter how successful, they will never be WHITE. You can straighten your hair, you can bleach it blonde, you can make your nose smaller, (if you are Asian, you can rid yourself of your epicanthic fold), it does not matter:YOU WILL NEVER BE WHITE. Period. You all have the nerve to say that everybody is judged by the White standard of beauty. There are so many more of “you”, so change the concept of beauty. Change the concept of civilization. Change everything the White people have developed and civilized. My only question to you: Why didn’t you do it in your own countries? You people of color, vastly out number we Whites. So, why, didn’t you take over the fashion industry? Art? Dance? Museum collections? You outnumber us, so why in fact, haven’t you overtaken us in technological advancement? In science? In math? In medicine? In physics? In anything?

    • Jesse James

      What we need to do is swap Florida for Haiti. Florida is pretty much a loss cause between over population, non-white invasion, over-building, pollution and a failing supply of ground water. In ten years Haiti could be a prosperous free white Republic.

  • MekongDelta69

    “He lost sight of his mission,” [Judge] Collins said of Freeman…

    No he didn’t Mzzzzz. Left-wing, indoctrinated, brainwashed, law school graduate.

    That WAS his ‘mission.’

  • Jesse James

    Just imagine if a white guy figured out how to steal from Negros. Talk about deserving a Nobel prize.

  • scutum

    This is perfect, I keep tellingpeople that the reason Africa is such a shambles is because it’s full of Negroes, and the reason Mexico is in such terrible shape is because it’s full
    of Mexicans. The reason the elites are bringing them into this country is that
    it is part of their plan to deconstruct our nation’s culture so they can
    then institute their vision of a Marxist utopia. But in case anyone hasn’t noticed the only
    thing the left is good at is tearing things down. Just look at the present
    Marxist administration in Washington, they can’t get a simple computer program up
    and running with a lead time of three years. What these morons fail to
    understand is that given the diversity they have intentionally inflicted on this
    nation, once it comes apart, all the kings horses and all the kings men won’t be
    able to put it back together again.