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Muskegon man sentenced to prison for embezzling from Michigan healthcare worker union

He will also be forced to pay $140,498.03 in restitution. Court documents state he used the funds for international travel, home maintenance and bills.
Credit: Alex - stock.adobe.com

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Hasan Zahdeh, a former resident of Muskegon was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison and 3 years of probation on Tuesday for embezzling from the Michigan Union of Healthcare Workers, where he was the president.

He is also ordered to pay $140,498.03 in restitution to the organization.

Between May 2017 to November 2020, Zahdeh used the MUHW’s debit card and union checks to pay for personal expenses. Court documents state he used the funds for international travel, utility bills, home maintenance and communication bills.

The Department of Labor began investigating MUHW after officials found the amount of legal services invoiced to the organization were much less than the amount of money reported. The invoices submitted also listed expenses unrelated to union business.

A grand jury in West Michigan returned an indictment, charging Zahdeh with embezzlement and theft of union funds in January 2021.

In April 2021, he entered a plea agreement in which he admitted to the following:

  • Falsifying union records.
  • Writing four checks to MUHW’s attorney, forged the attorney’s signature on the back of each check, and then deposited each check into his personal bank account.
  • Depositing MUHW dues into his personal bank accounts.
  • Directing his child to deposit MUHW dues checks into his account and wire him the funds.
  • Opening a personal bank account, misrepresented it to MUHW members as a bank account held by MUHW, and then directed MUHW members to direct deposit their dues into this account.
  • Using the MUHW funds he embezzled for personal expenses not authorized by MUHW.

“When union officers such as Hasan Zahdeh abuse their authority and line their own pockets, my office will pursue justice, including restitution where appropriate,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge.

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