Union leader spent thousands on male dancer & travel

Diana Frey
Diana Frey

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - From giving a $15,000 check to a male dancer to spending more than $88,000 on a Chase credit card account, FOX19 News has obtained federal court documents that make former union boss Diana Frey look more like a character from "Desperate Housewives."

Back in July of 2011, Frey, the president of the Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees (CODE), was indicted on one count of wire fraud.

She plead guilty to the charges in September.

The government alleges Frey embezzled $758,000 from CODE bank accounts to "live a more lavish life than she otherwise could have afforded."

FOX19 reached Frey's attorney, Blake Somers, Tuesday afternoon. He declined our request for an on-camera interview, saying he has remained quiet throughout this case and intends to remain that way until it ends.

However, in court documents, Somers tells the judge overseeing the case that the defense will not quibble with the prosecution's $758,000 figure.

That's a new development in the case, prosecutors say, because Frey has "previously disputed expenses both large and small."

The money came from three separate accounts which Frey, as president, had ready access to.

The government submitted shocking documents, detailing what the $758,000 was spent on.

According to the documents, Frey spent the funds on travel, drinking and pampering her pets.

Also of note is the $15,000 the state says she gave to a male dancer at Jim & Jack's On The River bar in Riverside.

In a memo to the judge about how lengthy prosecutors believe Frey's prison sentence should be, they reveal Frey "offered to help the man with a gift or loan and gave him a $15,000 check paid from union funds."

"He came down on the nights they were here because they danced, did the jitterbug, shagged, swing, stuff like that, you know. And I guess he befriended her in the bar," said Jim & Jack's owner, Eness Jim. "We're innocent. We had nothing to do with it," said Jim. "I'm upset because of the way its being portrayed, like we knew. I didn't know they guy."

As for Jim's reputation as a stand up businessman - "My regular customers wouldn't have concerns about it. I've been here 27 years. They know better," said Jim

But the story doesn't end there.

Prosecutors say Frey "purportedly flew" the male dancer and some of her friends down to Daytona, Florida to attend car races.

Because of the nature of the crimes and the number of victims involved, the state is asking Frey be sentenced to 51 months in prison with three years of supervised release after.  The state is also asking that Frey pay back the $758,000.

Frey is due to be sentenced June 7th. CODE was started by Frey in 2005. It's a labor union for about 800 city employees in Cincinnati.

She was president from 2005 until 2011.

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