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Former SEIU leader charged with fraud

A former rising star within the Service Employees International Union has been charged with bilking his ex-employer, one of the nation's most powerful labor groups. 

Tyrone Freeman, 42 years old, who once led a large Los Angeles-based local representing low-wage health-care workers, was indicted Tuesday on 15 criminal counts, including mail fraud and the embezzlement of $100,000. 

Mr. Freeman is accused of diverting union funds in $2,500 monthly payments in 2007 and 2008. The federal grand jury that indicted Mr. Freeman late Tuesday said he also improperly took $17,000 from a low-income-housing nonprofit group and used a union credit card to pay $8,000 toward his Hawaii wedding. 

The charges cap a four-year probe by the Labor Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Freeman, who now lives in Pittsburgh and has recently worked as a business consultant, faces a maximum sentence of more than 200 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

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