The former secretary-treasurer of the union representing workers at the Smithfield Foods plant in Tar Heel was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Raleigh after pleading guilty to embezzlement of more than $200,000 in union assets.
Terry Slaughter, 46, of Fayetteville, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $63,315.18 by Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle after pleading guilty Feb. 19 to embezzlement of labor union assets, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
From 2011 to 2015, Slaughter served as secretary-treasurer of United Food Commercial Workers Local 1208, which has about 3,600 workers at plants in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Former union president Keith Alan Ludlum, 48, of Bladenboro was sentenced in January to a combined maximum sentence of 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, a $10,000 fine and restitution after pleading guilty to conspiracy and embezzlement of labor union assets.
In 2014, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the UFCW initiated an audit of the union after receiving complaints from members regarding the theft and misuse of funds by Ludlum and Slaughter. The audit and investigation found that between January 2012 and March 2015 the two men embezzled and misused more than $200,000 in union funds by issuing unauthorized checks and making unauthorized purchases with their assigned debit cards, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“This defendant was entrusted to act in the best interests of thousands of Smithfield Foods plant employees who contributed a portion of their hard-earned wages as union dues,” U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. said. “Instead, he betrayed their trust by converting union funds to his own personal use. We will continue to investigate these crimes and aggressively pursue the appropriate legal remedies on behalf of Eastern North Carolina workers.”