Former president of local government union indicted for alleged embezzlement

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer and former president of a local union for government employees has been indicted on federal charges of allegedly embezzling funds from the union he headed, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Sept. 23.

Felix Luciano, 60, of San Diego, served from 2011-18 as president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2805, which represents Department of Homeland Security and ICE employees in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Luciano is accused of taking union dues to pay for his personal expenses, including luxury travel, payments to his personal credit card, payments to support his wife’s business (such as paying for the business’ website design), purchase of a custom gun safe, retail purchases, dining, and groceries, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to a grand jury indictment returned against Luciano, he used Local 2805’s debit and credit cards to pay for these expenses and wrote checks to himself from the union’s checking account using false descriptions in the memo line, such as “per diem.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges Luciano hid the alleged embezzlement by falsifying the union’s annual financial reports. In one instance, he allegedly reported that the union only disbursed a little over $3,000 to him that year, while the actual figure exceeded $20,000.

Luciano retired as the local’s president in December 2018 in the course of an audit of Local 2805 by the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor- Management Standards, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Luciano has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is due back in a San Diego federal courtroom Oct. 3.

Categories: Local San Diego News