As Branch 274 vice president, Whitbeck, now 55, a resident of Tamaqua, Pa., was responsible for filing class-action grievances on behalf of letter carriers related to reported violations of overtime rules by Postal Service managers. According to prosecutors, he used this aspect of his job as an opportunity to scam would-be beneficiaries.
The alleged hustle worked like this. Whitbeck would settle grievances for total lump sums without designating any specific individuals who were owed. In this way, he could select payees at a later date.
At the same time, he offered to secure additional overtime grievance payouts for certain letter carriers who agreed to kick back a portion of the proceeds to him. Letter carriers who had not participated in the scam effectively were being deprived of overtime grievance payments.
In addition, Whitbeck was charged with making false and misleading statements to convince union employees to participate. This arrangement last more than 10 years before being exposed by a letter carrier at a union executive board meeting in March 2018.