The first criminal charges in the long-running FBI investigation into the Philadelphia region’s largest Electricians union local were revealed Monday, as a New Jersey electrical contractor with extensive ties to labor leader John Dougherty admitted to unlawfully providing thousands of dollars in benefits to an unnamed union leader.
George Peltz, owner of MJK Electrical, pleaded guilty to counts including tax evasion, failing to pay payroll taxes, theft from employee benefit funds, and making unlawful payments to a union official.
He told a federal judge that between 2012 and 2016, he provided an Electricians Local 98 officer — named in court filings only as “Official 1” — with nearly $57,000 in home and office improvements at no charge.
That work included security systems installed at a business co-owned by the official and the installation of large-screen TVs in homes of the official and the official’s relatives.
Peltz also acknowledged giving the same official $4,500 in gift certificates to Boyd’s in 2013 and 2016.
Federal law prohibits employers from providing goods and services to union officials unless those transactions are carried out at fair market price.