Former Official of Border Patrol Union Convicted of Theft and Fraud

A federal jury in San Francisco has found the former president of the union that represents customs and border protection officers in California and Nevada guilty of stealing money from the union and lying about it to federal agencies.

Jonathon Ortino, 47, of San Bruno, former president of the National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 165, was convicted on two counts of making false statements and three counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the union and hide the fraud by submitting false annual financial reports to the Department of Labor, U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds announced today.

The jury acquitted Ortino of one count of making false statements.  The verdict was handed down after a five-day jury trial before U.S.District Judge William Orrick.

The case was the result of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards.

The evidence submitted at trial demonstrated that, beginning in February 2014, Ortino improperly took more than $84,000 in union money, using it on himself, his wife, his friends, and other associates.

The evidence also showed, according to Hinds, that Ortino falsely reported to the Labor Department the amount of money paid to him in 2014 and 2016.

In June 2019, a federal grand jury returned an Indictment charging Ortino with three counts of making false statements to a government agency and three counts of wire fraud. After the trial, the jury convicted Ortino on five counts—all three counts of wire fraud and two of the three false-statements counts.

Ortino faces a statutory maximum term of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of making false statements and a statutory maximum term of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of wire fraud.

In addition, as part of Ortino’s sentence, the court may order a term of supervised release, restitution, and additional assessments.

One Comment

  1. Your article refers to customs officers and NTEU, but then your headline says Border Patrol Union. Which is it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *