CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The former president of the Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees (CODE), Diana Frey, has been indicted on one count of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, which was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Frey, 51, "knowingly and wilfully devised and attempted to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and to obtain money by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises from CODE, and for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice and attempting to do so, transmitted and caused to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate commerce writings, signs, signals, pictures and sounds."
The indictment states that between 2005 and June of 2011, Frey took $757,000 in funds from CODE when she caused CODE to pay funds by checks, direct wire transfers, ATM withdrawals and credit card purchases to her various bank accounts for her personal benefit. The $757,000 is about four years worth of union dues.
"There were union accounts where the funds were transferred directly from the union accounts into her personal account. There were checks that were made to Diana Frey personally, from those union accounts. There were also checks made out to Code that were then deposited into Diana Frey's personal account," says Tim Managan, with the US Attorney's office.
Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the actual loss. Frey has been summoned for an initial appearance and arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman at 1:30 p.m. on July 28.
Authorities have been looking for Frey, and the CODE board posted a statement on its web site saying she has not been available "for some time."
FOX19's calls to Frey's cell phone have not been returned.
CODE represents about 800 city employees. The indictment says Frey has been CODE president since its inception in 2005. This recent indictment is not Frey's first brush with the law.
CODE Board of Directors Statement on Recent Investigation of CODE President:
The Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees (CODE) Bargaining Unit has received word that the U. S. Department of Labor investigation of the financial records of the organization and its' former President, Diana Frey, has produced an indictment of the former President.
The Board requested this investigation several months ago. We regret to announce to our members that the investigation into our operations, specifically the actions of our former president, Diana Frey, has revealed that a large sum of our treasury is missing. The Board has been working very hard over the last month to ensure that CODE and its membership are protected and steps were immediately taken to protect the assets of CODE and its members. CODE board members are not at liberty to speak about the case until the criminal process is completed. Members can be assured that the daily operation of CODE continues and remains a strong force for its members.
City Manager Milton Dohoney's Statement on Recent Investigation of CODE President:
Cincinnati, OH – City of Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney offers the following statement regarding the recent investigation of Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees (CODE) Union president Diana Frey:
"The Administration has been aware of the federal investigation regarding the president of the CODE organization. We have been fully cooperative from the beginning and have respected the confidentiality required by the investigation of all appropriate agencies. The misappropriated funds referenced in the federal indictment are not City of Cincinnati funds; rather, they are CODE funds generated by union dues.
This is all quite unfortunate.
Ms. Frey is in the process of formally severing her employment with the City.
The Administration will have no further comment on this matter."