Former union leader to spend next 51 months behind bars

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Former Cincinnati union leader Diana Frey, 52, will spend 51 months in a federal penitentiary and have pay back over $741,000 to members.

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott chose to sentence her to more than the 31 to 44 months the guidelines suggested because of the seriousness of the crime. The former Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees "CODE" president was sentenced Thursday afternoon. Frey pled guilty to embezzlement last September. Prosecutors say she stole $758,000 from CODE bank accounts.

FOX19's Legal Analyst Mike Allen was among many who thought the sentence could've been worse. "She would've gotten up to 8 years in state court so she got off light, although Judge Dlott did give her more than the guidelines suggested."

Documents show Frey spent the money on travel, drinking, re-paying loans on her home and vacation home, pool and pampering her pets. The money came from three separate accounts which Frey, as president, had ready access to.

CODE was started by Frey in 2005 and prosecutors say she started embezzling money from her first check. It's a labor union for about 800 city employees with the City of Cincinnati who work as employees for the Metropolitan Sewer District, the Recreation Department, the Health Department, the 911 Communications Center as well as firefighters, .

She was president from 2005 until 2011 and said in court that she will spend the rest of her life trying to make it up to her family and the union members. She also said she was solely responsible for her actions.

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