- Associated Press - Friday, September 15, 2017

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A former union leader in Pittsburgh has pleaded guilty to stealing $1.5 million and prosecutors want him to spend three to four years in prison when he’s sentenced early next year.

Raymond Ventrone, a former business manager for the International Association of Boilermakers Local 154, used the money to buy luxury furniture for himself and his family, including tens of thousands of dollars’ in musical instruments to equip a studio for his son. He also vacationed at a Florida resort, bought sports tickets, and ate at fancy restaurants, including a $5,600 tab at a downtown steakhouse.

Ventrone had denied the charges before Thursday’s guilty plea in federal court. The union says the case was “an extraordinary breach of trust by the local lodge’s top leader.”

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Ventrone faces sentencing Jan. 17.

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