Washington, DC - A former president of Local 2463 of the American Federation of Government Employees pleaded guilty Thursday to Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, in connection with his theft of tens of thousands of dollars from the union, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and District Director Mark Wheeler of the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards Washington District Office.
Audonus A. Duplessis, 25, of Washington, D.C., appeared before Judge Richard J. Leon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and pleaded guilty to the sole count in an indictment returned against him in June 2018. Judge Leon scheduled sentencing of this matter for Dec. 5, 2019.
According to a statement of facts signed by Duplessis in connection with his guilty plea,
Duplessis stole more than $80,000 from the union during his tenure as President of Local 2463, making unauthorized cash withdrawals from the Local’s checking account and charging purchases of personal items to a debit card associated with that account. As charged in the indictment, on Sept. 25, 2017, Duplessis withdrew $11,300 from the Local 2463 checking account at a Wells Fargo branch in Washington, D.C. He then transported that stolen money to the Honda dealership in Tysons Corner, Virginia, where he used it to purchase a 2013 Dodge Charger for his personal use. Other unauthorized items that Duplessis purchased with union money included clothing from Armani, a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun and a subscription to an online dating service.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) represents over 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide. Local 2463 represents approximately 2,400 employees at the Smithsonian Institution and Kennedy Center, the majority of whom are located in the Washington, D.C. area. Duplessis, a security guard at the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture, was elected to serve as President of Local 2463 in May 2017. While serving as President, Duplessis worked one day a week at the Smithsonian and received four days of “official time” to work full-time at the union.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Alexander Gottfried of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.