- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - A former union official has been indicted on charges he fraudulently qualified for early retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Federal prosecutors say John A. Matassa Jr. was secretary-treasurer of the Independent Union of Amalgamated Workers Local 711 when he put his wife on the payroll in a do-nothing job in February 2013. At the same time, he lowered his own salary and applied for and obtained early retirement benefits from Social Security’s Old-Age Insurance program. Matassa is also accused of signing his wife’s paychecks from the union and depositing them into the couple’s bank account.

The 65-year-old Matassa of Arlington Heights is scheduled to be arraigned next week on wire fraud, theft of government funds, embezzlement from a labor organization and making false entries in union records charges.

His lawyer refused to comment on the indictment.

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