SIOUX CITY | The former president of a Le Mars, Iowa, labor union was sentenced to 12 months in prison Friday for embezzling more than $95,000 from the organization during a 10-year period.
Curtis Lang, 53, had taken the money from 2005-2015 while serving as president of the United Dairy Workers, which represents employees of Wells Enterprises in Le Mars, Iowa.
With the stolen money, Lang purchased gift cards that he used to buy a motorcycle, take vacations and go out to eat, among other expenditures.
"This is a crime of pure greed," U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett said before sentencing Lang in U.S. District Court in Sioux City.
Lang pleaded guilty in May to one count of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets. Bennett sentenced Lang at the bottom of the 12-to-18-month sentencing guideline range so he could be released from prison earlier to repay the union.
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Bennett ordered Lang to make full restitution of $95,223 and gave him credit for $45,000 he has already repaid. Lang will be assessed interest on the remaining balance he owes.
Allen DeVos, the union's secretary/treasurer told Bennett that union officers preferred to see Lang receive a shorter prison sentence so he could repay the stolen money sooner.
"He should have to pay back every penny that he took," DeVos said.
In addition to the prison term, Bennett said Lang must spend the first six months after his release from prison in home confinement, in which probation officers will restrict and electronically monitor his actions.