UPDATED: A former Screen Actors Guild manager has been charged with nine federal criminal counts for allegedly embezzling more than $54,000 in union members’ residuals in 2010.
The charges were filed on May 21 in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Michelle Dancy, former manager in SAG’s Residuals Estates and Trust Department at the union’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
A federal grand jury indicted Dancy in January of this year. She was charged with four counts of embezzlement of union funds in excess of $54,109 and five counts of possession and use of means of identification in connection with criminal activity.
“SAG-AFTRA is pleased that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has moved forward with criminal charges against the former employee responsible for misappropriating funds from the union’s trusts and estates reserves,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement. “This theft was discovered during an internal audit conducted by the union in 2010 and was immediately investigated, and reported to our board and to the federal government. SAG-AFTRA cooperated with the federal investigation and advocated for and fully supports this criminal prosecution. The misappropriated funds were reimbursed to the union by its insurance carriers and no member lost any money because of the theft.
Union employees handling member funds occupy a special position of trust. We take any violation of that trust seriously. Any individual responsible for stealing the property of the union and its members must and will be held accountable.”
The indictment alleged that Dancy, a resident of Lawndale, had embezzled $9,936 on July 28, 2010, from two members, followed by $7,460 on Aug. 11, 2010 from a single member, and separate thefts of $15,724 and $20,989 — both on Aug. 18, 2010, from single members. The members were identified in the indictment only by their initials.
The charges followed an investigation by the Office of Labor Management Standards’ Los Angeles District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.
SAG merged with AFTRA in 2012 following a vote by members.
SAG had disclosed in late 2010 that an unnamed manager at the guild was being investigated for alleged financial improprieties.